UK employers could trigger electric cars boom by offering choice as company car

Many company car drivers would choose an electric vehicle given the choice.

Many company car drivers would choose an electric vehicle given the choice. - Credit: Nissan supplied

Go Ultra Low survey reveals vast majority of company car drivers would be willing to switch to EVs if offered the chance by employers.

Nearly 700,000 company car drivers in the UK would seriously consider swapping to an electric vehicle (EV) if given the chance by their employer, according to new research.

Data from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) shows that there are currently 940,000 company car drivers in the Britain, yet a survey conducted by Go Ultra Low – a joint government and automotive industry EV awareness campaign – revealed that only 25% of businesses offer EVs to their employees.

This equates to roughly 235,000 people – 86% of which (202,100) said they would be likely to swap to an EV as their next car.

Of the remaining 75% (705,000) of company drivers who aren't currently offered the chance of having an EV by their employers, 69% (486,500) said they would consider making the change if they had the chance.

Transport minister John Hayes said: 'Low-emission vehicles have enormous potential to usher in a new era for road transport, and we have committed £600m over this parliament as part of our plan to making them the natural choice for motorists.

'Businesses have a role to play in boosting the numbers of electric vehicles on our roads, and this survey shows that employees want to drive them. Gradually making fleets zero-emission would improve air quality, as well as helping companies reduce their costs.

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'We want to make it easier for companies to adopt these cleaner cars, and recently made £7.5m available to workplaces who want to install charge points.'

The first 10 months of 2016 saw more than 30,000 electric vehicles registered across Britain, roughly 70% of which went to businesses.

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said: 'Fleets and businesses represent the lion's share of the UK's new car buyers, so have the potential to shape the market and accelerate the UK automotive market to be entirely 'ultra-low emission'.

'As an industry, it is our collective responsibility to give businesses confidence to be bold and realise the multiple benefits that plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars can bring, including cost savings and a carbon footprint reduction.'

Go Ultra Low established the Go Ultra Low Companies initiative in May to publicly recognise public and private sector companies that offer EVs as company cars.

Since its launch, more than 75 organisations, including Transport for London, University of Cambridge and the London Fire Brigade, have achieved Go Ultra Low Company status.

Why would you choose an electric vehicle for your company car? Email

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