Big electric company car myths, busted by CUPRA’s fleet experts

There are plenty of misconceptions around electric company cars. So, whether you’re a fleet manager or a user-chooser, let’s separate fact from fiction...

CUPRA Born front in car park

It seems that almost all new technology gets shrouded in myth before it has a chance to prove itself. In the 1950s, people said too much television would make your eyes go square. In 1999, everyone thought the internet would crash at the turn of the millennium. Unsurprisingly, electric cars have had the same treatment.

From fears about a poor charging infrastructure (false) to higher overall costs (false), the electric car rumour mill has been working overtime in the last few years. As a result, some fleet manager decision-makers and company car user-choosers have become hesitant about making the switch.

But, with the 2035 petrol and diesel ban now just three or four fleet cycles away, it’s time to start distinguishing fact from fiction and planning confidently for your all-electric future. That’s where CUPRA can help.

Offering a totally fresh approach to fleet and boasting an extensive line-up of highly desirable all-electric and plug-in hybrid (e-HYBRID) models that offer head-turning style, heaps of performance, next-generation technology and feature-packed trims that deliver great bang for your buck, CUPRA is doing fleet better. Its team of CUPRA for Business fleet experts provide unparalleled support for businesses looking to take their first steps to electrification, while the backing of the Volkswagen Group brings true depth of dependability.

That’s why we’ve picked the brains of CUPRA’s fleet experts to debunk the biggest electric company car myths and help you on your way to an electric future.

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CUPRA Born head-on shot

1. Electric vehicles are more expensive, right?

Wrong. Well, kind of. It’s complicated. When transitioning your fleet to electric cars then, yes, you’ll pay a slight premium for electric and plug-in hybrid cars in terms of initial list price and investment. However, the acquisition costs of buying or leasing the vehicles are just one part of the total cost-of-ownership (TCO) equation.

This slightly increased up-front cost is quickly offset when you look at both the fixed and flexible costs associated with running an electrified fleet. Servicing, maintenance and repairs (SMR), tax and residual values all play their part in making electric vehicles significantly more cost-effective in the long run.

“When it comes to electric company cars, I’d ask the question ‘expensive compared to what?’” says CUPRA Area Fleet Manager Mark Penny. “Yes, the list prices for electric cars are marginally higher than petrol or diesel equivalents, but as soon as you start to look at the whole life costs of an electric vehicle compared to an internal combustion engine car, you start to see significant savings.”

SMR costs are considerably lower for electric cars thanks to fewer moving parts to maintain and fewer service intervals. In fact, data suggests that an all-electric vehicle will cost roughly 12% less to maintain than a petrol or diesel model over a typical three-year period. Equally, CUPRA’s high-tech cars also boast a wealth of advanced driver aids and safety features that can also help businesses save on repairs costs.

“One thing that has been really useful for business customers and fleet managers is the safety technology that is now built into our cars,” says CUPRA National Fleet Manager Justin Costello. “Whether it’s front-assist for pedestrians, blind-spot monitoring, 360-degree cameras or parking sensors, all of this technology has helped to significantly reduce damage, which actually lowers insurance policies. So, investing in the latest technology can save you in other areas.”

CUPRA’s cost-effective fixed-price maintenance plans provided by its UK-wide network of 60 CUPRA retailers and 120 CUPRA service centres help slash expenditure further. “When it comes to servicing, we make things easy for customers,” Justin adds. “It’s about giving them choice and confidence. We’ve got a fixed price servicing package that lets you know what your servicing costs are in advance, and you can book servicing easily online through our website.”

Then there’s tax. Ultra-low benefit-in-kind (BIK) rates for all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars can make them much more of an affordable perk for user-choosers compared to petrol or diesel equivalents, while also saving businesses in Class 1A National Insurance Contributions (Class 1A NIC).

The all-electric CUPRA Born, for example, offers a 2% BIK rate which means car payments of just £146 per year for a 20% taxpayer, and £291 for a 40% taxpayer, while only costing their employer £22.63 and £41.10 respectively in Class 1A NICs.

Finally, residual values. Data suggests that depreciation accounts for 47% of your total fleet expenditure. While no one has a crystal ball, it’s important to buy smart and look for efficient, reliable and safe cars that are sure to hold their value. Thankfully, CUPRA’s entire range boasts seriously impressive residual values, with the all-electric CUPRA Born even placing fifth in a What Car? list of slowest depreciating cars, beating rivals from Audi, Volvo and Polestar.

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Cupra Formentor PHEV charging socket

2. Charging an electric car is expensive, right?

Again, wrong (for the most part). While the recent increase in energy costs has subtly bumped up the overall price of charging electric cars – with public rapid chargers commanding hefty prices compared to home or office charging – electric cars are still significantly cheaper to run day-to-day than their petrol or diesel equivalents.

The most cost-effective way to charge an electric company car is at home. In fact, data from the Energy Saving Trust claims that user-choosers who take advantage of cheap overnight tariffs could save up to 66% in fuel costs compared to petrol or diesel equivalents. This is because you can use ultra-cheap tariffs from companies like CUPRA partner Ohme and smart chargers that will only top-up your car when the rates are at their absolute lowest between the hours of 12am and 4am.

It’s about getting people into the habit of getting home and plugging their car in at night,” says CUPRA Contract Hire & Leasing Manager Martin Gray. “Smart chargers mean you don’t have to worry about damaging the battery or paying high rates for electricity. And if you only cover short journeys, there will be plenty of days where you don’t have to plug into a public charger at all.”

Office or depot charging offers many of the same benefits for fleet managers, letting user-choosers conveniently top-up their electric or plug-in hybrid cars cheaply while at work, or overnight if they return to base at the end of a working day.

Office charging also offers wider benefits for businesses. Whereas employees will claim expenses on private electricity used to charge their cars for work trips (which can be a complex process), having your employees charge at the office removes the need for reimbursement because the business simply pays for the electricity it uses.

Finally, we come to on-the-go charging. The latest figures suggest that rapid public chargers can cost up to four times more than charging at home or at the office. Therefore, it’s important to use public chargers sparingly and only when you have to.

“You need to be smart about how and when you use public chargers,” says Justin. “And you don’t always have to charge to 100%. In fact, we recommend you don’t do that. Just get the range you need to get to your destination back home or to the office, where you can make the most of cheaper electric rates.”

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CUPRA Born front three quarters at public charging point

3. The public charging network is rubbish, right?

One of the biggest myths surrounding electric cars is that the public charging infrastructure isn’t up to the job. Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

According to, there are currently more than 40,000 active public chargers throughout the UK, with more than 7500 of those being rapid or ultra-rapid chargers. And more keep coming. The most recent data shows that more than 2000 new public chargers are installed and brought online every single month.

So, we know there are plenty of public chargers. But how reliable are they? Well, the Public Charge Point Regulations 2023 is new government legislation that mandates all public chargers must achieve an average reliability record of at least 99%. Providers who fail to meet this standard will face fines from £10,00 up to £250,000.

The same legislation has brought about other changes designed to help improve the usability of the network. From now on, all public chargers must display clear and transparent pricing in pence/kWh, so users know exactly what they’ll be paying. It’s also a common myth that public chargers require a wide array of apps and RFID cards to use. But, once again, legislation has brought about change, ensuring that all public chargers should now accept contactless payment for quick and easy charging.

One of the best ways to find out exactly how easy and reliable the public charging network is to try it for yourself.  “There’s a lot of negative press and preconceived expectations around charging, which means that people think it’s no good,” says Mark. “But experiencing it is absolutely crucial. Drive an electric car. Experience it. Try charging it at different charge points over a few days, and you’ll soon understand how easy it is.”

That’s where CUPRA’s unique CUPRA Experience demonstrator programme comes in. “With our CUPRA Experience corporate demo programme, we can send vehicles to a work or home address, letting you and your drivers experience a car for a number of days,” says Justin. “You can experience a pure electric car like the CUPRA Born, one of our plug-in hybrids, or even petrol-powered vehicles to compare and contrast.”

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CUPRA Born driving on road front three quarters

4. Electric cars are limited by their range, right?

Range anxiety is perpetually one of the biggest issues for company car user-choosers and fleet decision-makers when it comes to considering the move to electric. After all, company cars need to go the distance for both work and play.

But we’re here to tell you that range anxiety is well and truly a thing of the past; you just have to rethink how you use it. First, data shows that the average company car user-chooser travels an average of just 20-45 miles per day. To put that into perspective, the all-electric 77kWh CUPRA Born has a range of up to 342 miles (WLTP)[1] which would be enough to cover more than a week of driving without ever needing to charge.

Equally, that 342-mile range is easily the equivalent of driving from London to Newcastle in one go. However, thanks to the robust public charging network we’ve already spoken about, you’ll never have to go that far without charging.

“I live in Glasgow, so I’m 374 miles from my front door to CUPRA’s head office,” says CUPRA Contract Hire & Leasing Manager Martin Gray. “When it comes to range and charging, it’s about changing your mindset and taking just a bit more time to plan. I’d never do that journey without stopping, even in a petrol or diesel car. So, when I do stop for some lunch or a coffee, I just pop my electric car on charge and grab the range I need to complete my journey.”

When it comes to maximising your range, there are plenty of things you can do each and every day to get the very most out of your car. For example, reducing unnecessary weight, using a smartphone app to precondition the battery each morning, checking tyre pressures and using onboard technology like cruise control, regenerative braking and ECO modes can all help boost range. You can also make minor alterations to your driving style such as conserving momentum where possible, being gentle with the accelerator and taking more efficient routes.

So, from purchase price to range anxiety, those are four of the biggest electric company car myths busted by CUPRA’s fleet experts. Now it’s time to find out how else CUPRA For Business can help you make the switch.

Learn more about CUPRA for Business

[1] Figures shown are for comparability purposes and were obtained after the battery had been fully charged. Mains electricity required for charging. Only compare electric range figures with vehicles tested to the same technical procedures. Figures may not reflect real life driving results.

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