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Your electric fleet and company car questions answered

With the 2030 move to all-electric and hybrid cars in mind, we asked Nissan UK’s experts to respond to the top queries from fleet managers and drivers about going electric...

We asked Nissan UK’s experts to respond to the top queries from fleet managers and company car drivers about going electric

Following the UK government’s confirmation of a move to all-electric and hybrid car sales from 2030, it’s clear that the long-term future for fleet managers and company car drivers is electric. But what are the pros and cons about making the switch today? To find out, we asked Nissan Fleet Director Peter McDonald some of the most commonly asked questions.

Based on the UK’s 2035 deadline, does it really make sense for fleet managers and company car drivers to make an early switch to electric right now, or should we wait for car technology and the charging infrastructure to keep improving?

“The analogy I’d use is smartphones. Although technology evolves and phones get more advanced with each generation, it doesn’t mean people continually hold out on an upgrade in anticipation of the next model to come. If you buy the most up-to-date phone, you get the benefits of the latest technology right away. Plus, you can always upgrade again later when the time is right, or as technology gets better. It’s the same with electric cars.

“Yes, electric vehicles will continue to improve. But we’re already at a point where today’s electric models have easily enough range and capability to suit the needs of most fleet and company car drivers. The upcoming Nissan ARIYA SUV, for example, will boast a range of up to 310 miles, but the current Nissan LEAF already has a 239-mile range, which is more than enough for everyday use. And you can be driving that car today[1].

“The bigger benefit is the long-term cost savings – whether it’s benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax incentives for company car drivers, greatly reduced road tax and servicing costs, lower fuel bills, or exemption from congestion and ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) charges[2]. Typically, company cars are kept for four years. So, whether you’re changing a fleet of cars and vans to electric, or if you’re a company car driver making the switch, going electric today means you benefit from those savings now, rather than keep spending money on petrol or diesel.”

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We asked Nissan UK’s experts to respond to the top queries from fleet managers and company car drivers about going electric

Are electric models really suited to all the tasks that fleet vehicles do – whether its company cars covering long distances, or vans carrying large or heavy payloads?

“Some businesses might need to subtly rethink or carefully select a few applications where electric vehicles are used, but I think the majority of fleets can make it work easily right away. Equally, you might actually be surprised how capable electric models are. 

“For example, one delivery logistics firm runs over 500 electric vans – a lot of which are used for last-mile deliveries, which means a lot of short-distance stop-start driving. It has been reported that some of their drivers don’t need to recharge their van for up to three days. 

“The best way to figure out whether electric vehicles work is for fleet managers to simply make them available. Very quickly people realise that with minor amendments, an electric car or van can perfectly suit work and home life. It’s all about starting small, then growing your electric fleet as you and your employees gain confidence in the technology.”

Everyone talks about long-term savings for electric cars, but they’re also more expensive to purchase. Are there any instant savings for a company that offset this?

“While it’s true that it’s typically company car drivers who benefit most from choosing an electric car, there are plenty of instant savings for fleet managers in the form of day-to-day running expenses, as well as cheaper servicing and maintenance costs.

“Looking further ahead, another financial benefit for companies may be vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging – earning money by charging vehicles overnight when electric rates are low, then renting out the excess energy stored in the vehicle’s battery to an energy supplier when the vehicle is plugged in and not being used during the day.

“This is something unique to Nissan as the LEAF and e-NV200 are the only electric vehicles with bi-directional charging. We’re doing trials to see how this technology can work and how companies with large fleets can benefit from it – whether it’s saving money on their energy bills or being rewarded with free miles[3]. It lets electric vehicles form part of the whole conversation for companies about energy usage and CO2.”

Electric cars charging up

What’s the best way to educate company car drivers about the benefits of going electric, and how do I encourage them to make the switch?

“The first step is to make electric cars feel accessible: working with early adopters and advocates who believe in electric and want to make it work, then building out as others learn from their experiences. One of the best ways we’ve seen companies do this is ‘test and trial’ – letting employees see first-hand how electric car technology works, or purchasing a small number of electric vehicles, putting them to use, and building the case from there. 

“It’s the ‘car park effect’. People often don’t have time or interest to do the research about whether an electric car will work for them. But when they see someone with a similar job, family and lifestyle using one… well, if it works for them, it will probably work for me too. Once drivers experience the cars – using them day-to-day, seeing that the range is often more than they need, realising that charging isn’t an issue, and these so-called barriers aren’t really barriers – they very quickly transition to becoming electric advocates.

“Then there are the financial incentives. Many company car drivers don’t actually know what benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rate they’re paying on their car, as there are other elements such as medical benefits and pension contributions that can make it tricky to work out the difference between gross pay and net wage. There needs to be an education process where – with the support of the employer or fleet manager – a business can help drivers identify the BIK they currently pay on their car and understand the tax benefit of going electric[2]

We asked Nissan UK’s experts to respond to the top queries from fleet managers and company car drivers about going electric

“It depends what car they’ve previously driven, but the BIK savings alone can be over £3000 per year[4]. Then you’ve got fuel savings, reduced servicing costs, congestion and ultra-low emissions zone charge exemption in cities and the potential with green number plates and recognition cameras for councils to offer cheaper parking, use of bus lanes or other EV incentives. Plus, you don’t only get savings on business use; you get the saving for personal and family use, too. For many company car drivers, it’s the equivalent of a big pay rise.”

“The key thing is to make sure you help your drivers make the best-informed decision for their personal circumstances. After all, picking an electric company car is a choice they’re making for the next four years, so you don’t want them to feel forced into a decision they may resent. Equally, the risk of adding electric vehicles to your fleet is low. If you do have an employee where switching to an electric car doesn’t ultimately suit their driving requirements, it’s pretty easy for most fleets to re-allocate that vehicle to someone else.”

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Are there any other benefits to choosing electric fleet vehicles or company cars, beyond cost savings for the business or financial benefits for employees?

“Many organisations are making commitments around reducing CO2 emissions, and often there are difficult trade-offs for doing this. For a company that wants to go net-zero in terms of CO2, choosing electric vehicles instead of petrol or diesel is an immensely easy way for a company to reduce its overall CO2 output, because it doesn’t actually require that big a change. It’s a win for both the employee and the employer – and the environment.”

We asked Nissan UK’s experts to respond to the top queries from fleet managers and company car drivers about going electric

With more electric cars hitting the roads, is the UK’s charging infrastructure ready to meet the demands of more EV users – especially for busy fleet and company car drivers who don’t have the time to wait for charging points to become available?

“Firstly, most electric company cars are charged at home overnight. And, with the help of government grants it’s easy and cost-effective to get a home charging point installed. Secondly, the UK’s charging infrastructure has grown a lot in the last few years – even in the last 12 months. If you do have concerns about the current infrastructure, it’s worth remembering that the charging network will only continue to grow in breadth and speed over the four years that an electric car or van will be used.”

How easy is it to install charging points for employees and guests in my workplace? Will there be a lot of extra expenditure or administrative hassle?

“It’s actually very simple. As most electric company car drivers charge at home overnight, that instantly reduces the challenge for a business. However, if you want to offer EV charging at your place of work or company HQ, there’s lots of financial support to help companies make the switch and install the infrastructure[5], and there are a number of electric vehicle tariffs that provide lower-cost EV charging. It might require some research, but that’s where our fleet experts come in. We’ve been supplying fleets with the 100% electric Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 electric van for 10 years, so we’ve got plenty of experience to advise businesses on the adoption process and understanding the benefits.

Finally, with the coronavirus pandemic putting pressure on many company’s bottom line, is now really a good time to be taking a fleet electric?

“If anything, I think electric vehicle adoption is actually speeding up. We’ve seen a four-fold increase in registrations of electric vehicles on the fleet market in the last nine months. First of all, there has been a big change in habits and, right now, people aren’t commuting as much. Secondly, the electric infrastructure continues to improve, so there’s less range anxiety. Thirdly, the government’s 2030 agenda is a very big statement of intent. It has forced a situation where fleets are reviewing their policies. I don't think there has been a better time to accelerate the move to electric vehicles.”

To learn more about how Nissan’s Fleet team can help you work smarter, head to

[1] Nissan ARIYA 87 kWh battery with 310 miles range. Nissan LEAF e+ 62kWh battery with 239 miles range. WLTP figures shown are for comparability purposes. Actual real world driving results may vary depending on factors such as the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted after registration, weather conditions, driving styles and vehicle load.

[2] Nissan Motor (GB) Limited does not offer tax advice and recommends that all Company Car Drivers consult their own accountant with regard to their particular tax situation.

[3] For more information, please visit:

[4] Comparison based on a company car driver in the 40% tax bracket from April 2020 to March 2023, switching from a typical UK best-selling hatchback (1.5-litre turbo petrol automatic with fuel economy of 48.2mpg WLTP combined and CO2 emissions as low as 133g/km with a 29%-31% BIK rate) to a Nissan LEAF 40 kWh N-Connecta model.

[5] For more information, visit:

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