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 2% Benefit In Kind (BIK) rate rate until the end of 2025, while a vehicle that generates more than 150g/km of CO2 will be charged between 35 and 37%. Depending on your tax bracket, that could make your annual tax bill more than £6000 higher were you to opt for a £50,000 petrol-powered car instead of an equivalently priced electric model. But, 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. Mercedes-Benz leads the charge in this respect: the EQS 450+ offers up to 453 miles between plug-ins, according to the WLTP test cycle.
The Tesla Model S Long Range is not far behind, offering up to 405 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 around 300 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 up to 100 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes, as long as your car has the capability to charge at that speed. Even faster 350kW charging units are also starting to appear in the 2020s, as well, further cutting ultra-rapid charging times.
To take some of the guesswork out of the decision-making process, we have compiled a list of some great all-round electric cars that should fit the needs of the majority of company car drivers.
Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 topped the 2021 EV sales charts in the UK, shifting more than 34,000 units thanks to its strong performance, impressive range and futuristic interior design. The base rear-wheel-drive trim with 305 miles of range is plenty for most, while the rapid Model 3 Performance offers supercar levels of acceleration and can still travel 340 miles between charges.
Kia Niro EV
With company car tax rates still at basement levels, Kia’s Niro EV 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 bigger 64kWh 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’s a very fine effort. Backed by the experience and financial clout of Volvo and Geely, the Polestar 2 offers up to 408hp as a Dual Motor and a maximum 336 miles of range as a Single Motor Long Range. The eye-catching styling will certainly get you noticed, too.
Check out Mark Nichol's full Polestar 2 review for more information.
Unlike some rival offerings, the Audi e-tron looks very much like the rest of the manufacturer’s more conventionally powered range of vehicles, making it a great option for those that prefer their electric car in an understated package. The e-tron is available in Estate or Sportback body styles, with either 313hp or 408hp and a range of up to 252 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 3-pointed star on the front grille, then an EQC lease a great Mercedes choice 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.