Is ULEZ expansion the tipping point your business needs to invest in electric vehicles?

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    Updated: March 21, 2023 at 11:03 am

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      AUTHOR: Tom Floodgate, Funding Manager at Swoop

      The expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone is pushing up the cost of petrol and diesel-propelled vehicles. Switching to EVs now could be a smart move.

      The clock is ticking: London’s soon-to-expand Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) has kicked up controversy: on one hand, it has made it much more expensive to drive a traditional diesel or petrol car in London. With cars being charged £12.50 per day, on top of the congestion charge, there is a clear incentive to stay out of the capital if at all possible. For businesses, this has put a strain on the cost of doing business – and from 29 August it will affect more companies than ever as the outer boroughs become included in the scheme.

      Understanding ULEZ

      The move is driven by the significant positive environmental impact. Harmful airborne pollutants in the center of London have halved since the ULEZ scheme was introduced: good news for the people living in the area, particularly those with conditions such as asthma and Covid.

      With the ULEZ scheme being expanded to cover more London boroughs from 29 August, many businesses are getting the push they need to upgrade their fleet to electric vehicles (EVs). With customers demanding that companies become more sustainable, it feels like a number of factors are making now an excellent time to make the switch to EVs.

      It can be difficult to work out the cost of a car, because the purchase price is only one element. On top of that, you need to consider insurance, servicing, fuel and other charges, such as tolls, congestion charge, and ULEZ.

      Electric vehicles have a great advantage in that they can avoid many of these running costs. If you are able to cover your premises in solar panels, these will bring the cost down even further.

      Lenders are keen to get a slice of the action, with many offering special deals on asset finance with a particular emphasis on EVs. 

      It’s hard to put a typical case for EVs as the price of a vehicle can range from between £20,000 and £200,000. But with rates as low as 3.5 percent, the running costs are comparable, if not lower than petrol and diesel cars when everything is taken into account. 

      There are further advantages to buying EVs for your business this year: first, the cost of purchase and borrowing to fund the purchase can be offset against corporation tax. 

      Right now, buying an EV will cost less, save you more and pollute less. 

      At a time when customers are increasingly aware of sustainability and how the businesses they choose have an impact on the environment, making the switch to EVs now could be good business in more ways than one. 

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