Running a company car can be a financially savvy option as long as it is done right, because recent changes in the way the Government taxes company car drivers means that moving to an electric car business lease can equate to massive tax savings.
In a nutshell, zero CO2 emissions vehicles will be charged a 1% Benefit In Kind (BIK) rate for 2021/22 while a vehicle that generates more than 150g/km of CO2 will be charged between 33% and 37%. Depending on your tax bracket, that could make your annual tax bill more than £6,000 higher were you to opt for a £50,000 petrol-powered car instead of an equivalently priced electric model. So, while the decision to switch to electric is an easy one, which one to pick is slightly less straightforward.
Range anxiety tends to be at the forefront of people’s minds when considering an electric vehicle. Yet the truth is that unless you are driving the length and breadth of Britain each day, there is an electric car for lease today that will ideally suit your needs. Tesla leads the charge in this respect: the Model S Long Range offers 379 miles between plug-ins according to the WLTP test cycle.
The Tesla Model 3 Long Range is not far behind, offering 348-miles between charges. If your budget is tight then the very capable Hyundai Kona Electric is less than half the price of the Model S yet still offers 282 miles of range.
As a general rule, if your average daily trip is less than 120 miles one-way, then you will only ever have to charge at home in the majority of today’s electric offerings. Fast charging stations are on the rise too, a 150kW charger can add 100 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes, as long as your car has the capability to charge at that speed.
Projecting the right image to clients is an integral part of doing business and the car you arrive in will inform perceptions before you have even stepped into the lobby. The Seat Mii electric and Fiat 500 are currently 2 of the cheapest electric cars on sale in the UK, both are great city cars but if you are pitching a prospective client for a high-value project it may be worth considering something with a bit more road presence. If you are frequently on the motorway then a larger, more comfortable model is also a better bet.
To take some of the guesswork out of the decision-making process we have compiled a list of cars that should fit the needs of the majority of company car drivers.
Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 regularly tops the electric car sales charts thanks to its strong performance, impressive range and futuristic interior design. The base trim with 254 miles of range is plenty for most while the Model 3 Performance offers supercar levels of acceleration and can still travel 329 miles between charges.
With company car tax rates still at basement levels, Kia’s e-Niro is a surprising but serious contender as a brilliant company car. Why? Because it’s a brilliant car full stop. It’s practical, faster than you might expect, really comfy to drive as a daily commuter and comes with a serious list of equipment. And it’s got range - proper range if you opt for the 64kWh bigger battery.
Stylish and advanced electric cars aren’t the sole preserve of Tesla. Polestar cut its teeth on the hybrid Polestar 1 before releasing the all-electric Polestar 2 and it is a very fine effort. Backed by the experience and financial clout of Volvo and Geely, the Polestar 2 offers 400hp and 292 miles of range. The eye-catching styling will certainly get you noticed, too.
Unlike some rival offerings, Audi’s e-tron looks very much like the rest of the petrol-powered range, making it a great option for those that prefer their electric car in an understated package. The e-tron can be had in Estate or Sportback body styles with either 313hp or 408hp and a range of up to 249 miles. The comfortable interior and large boot make this the ideal Audi to lease if you regularly cover a lot of miles.
No list of cars for corporate leasing would be complete without a Mercedes-Benz. So if you’re looking for an all-electric car that gives you company car park kudos and a three-pointed star on the front grille, then the EQC is Mercedes’ first real offering in the world of the EV. Like every Mercedes it’s beautifully put together with a quintessentially ‘Merc’ cabin and whisper quiet ride on long journeys. It’s not as engaging to drive as rivals like the Jaguar I-Pace but it is effortless like a true Mercedes should be...
The Nissan Leaf bears the distinction of being the first mass-produced electric car, and this second-generation model remains a very capable family-friendly vehicle. Aside from the decent performance, spacious interior and range of up to 239 miles, leasing a Nissan Leaf can be very cost effective. Its small dimensions and instant response make it ideal for tight city streets while it has plenty of power in reserve for motorway runs, too.