Who In The UK Is Most Prepared For The EV Transition?

10 December 2023

Who In The UK Is Most Prepared For The EV Transition?

In September, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that the UK would be falling in line with the EU and many other global markets by delaying the banning of production of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035, from the original cut-off point of 2030. However, in 2020 the Government announced a £1.3billion investment in the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging network, and by law, major motor vehicle brands need to have EV sales of at least 22% by 2024, and 80% by 2030, so there is clearly still a widespread commitment to the EV switch which can’t be stopped. But are the people of the UK buying-in to the EV transition? And where in the country are they most prepared to wave goodbye to their internal combustion engines?

Web searches for EVs and related infrastructure terms have increased by 83% over the last 12 months in the UK, but figures recently released show that there is a wide variation in how hotly anticipated the EV switch is. This can be seen in where searches have increased, where they have reduced and how this compares to how many EV chargers there are available in a particular area.

Capital geared up for EV switch

Not surprisingly, London has the most EV chargers in the UK, currently 13,436 according to ZapMap, and it also shows the largest increase in web searches for EVs and related terms, up 18% in the last year. Equally, Wolverhampton and the West Midlands has the fourth highest number of chargers and comes in second with an increase of 12% more web searches.

However, there is a clear disparity at the other end of the scale. In Oxford, searches are down an amazing 91%, and yet the South East region has the second highest number of EV chargers in the UK. Indeed, the Oxfordshire local authority claims one in five vehicles on the roads of the region by 2030 will be fully electric. So there is an evident desire to make the switch and the infrastructure is already there, so maybe the majority of drivers in the area have already made the transition away from petrol and diesel vehicles?

In the East Midlands the figures are a little easier to explain. Nottingham and Leicester show that searches are down 68% and 54% respectively, and the area has the sixth lowest number of EV chargers, so it is perhaps explainable that people aren’t being encouraged to make the transition to EVs because they don’t see everyday evidence that the charging infrastructure is there. Some drivers do still suffer from ‘range anxiety’ and a scepticism that they need to change their driving habits and lifestyles to fit in with EV driving, so an increase in the public charging network in key areas would certainly help with the EV transition.

The unstoppable EV revolution

As of April 2023 there were 760,000 fully electric vehicles on the UK roads, with another 490,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles, and at the end of 2022, EV sales overtook diesel sales for the very first time. The EV revolution is unstoppable and inevitable, and even though the ban on producing new petrol and diesel vehicles has been delayed by five years, it won’t stop the market increase in EV sales given the billions in research and development committed to by global governments and major motor vehicle brands themselves. It also won’t change the fact that there are major benefits to EV driving and major benefits to salary sacrifice schemes and leasing EVs.

The benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rate for driving electric vehicles is fixed at 2% until April 2025 and even though it will increase by 1% per year until 2028, it still represents a significant saving on driving a petrol or diesel vehicle, where BIK tax could be up to 37%. On a three or four year lease driving an EV is considerably cheaper. The Polestar 2, for example, represents a cost of:

  • 20% Tax Rate = £462 p/m
  • 40% Tax Rate = £410 p/m
  • 45% Tax Rate = £380 p/m
  • 60% Tax Rate = £291 p/m

With tax savings being experienced with every payment over the lifetime of the lease and your use of the vehicle.

Leasing an EV through a salary sacrifice scheme delivers significant financial and environmental benefits for businesses and vehicle drivers, and given the rate of development of EV technology those benefits are only going to get better.

Contact Pink Salary Exchange for more information on starting a salary sacrifice car scheme in your business today.

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