More than 400,000 SMEs could make annual fleet whole-life cost savings of up to £1,440 per vehicle by swapping into electric models

  • Whole-life costs hold the key to savings – but only 35% of SMEs use this data to assess vehicle suitability
  • Two thirds of SMEs say they would consider electric vehicles with lower running costs than petrol and diesel equivalents

As many as 435,000* small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could each save up to £1,440** a year with their first electric vehicle (EV), which could deliver a whopping £625 million in cumulative savings for UK businesses, according to new research revealed by joint industry and Government campaign Go Ultra Low.

A survey of UK SMEs, commissioned by Go Ultra Low for its recent Summit – Preparing for your electric vehicle future – found that many businesses are not aware of the potential savings of electric motoring.

When assessing suitable vehicle options, only 35% of businesses said they consider whole-life costs of running a vehicle, with the major considerations remaining at the more basic level of vehicle contract hire rates (32%) and vehicle list price (12%). Despite this, more than two thirds (67%) said they would consider 100% electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles with lower whole-life costs than petrol and diesel equivalents.

Whole-life cost figures from Lex Autolease*** illustrate how the higher initial cost of plug-in vehicles can be more than offset by significant fuel savings, tax benefits, and a potential 70%**** reduction in service, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs.

Speaking at the Go Ultra Low Summit, Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “Cost savings are a top priority for companies of all sizes. So, fleet operators from both SMEs and large companies that look beyond a vehicle’s initial purchase price or monthly rental, stand to save their companies thousands of pounds every year.”

“Electric vehicles can return significant operational savings – just one electric car or van could save SMEs up to £1,440 annually. With an ever-increasing number of plug-in models now available, it’s even easier for businesses to identify an ultra low emission vehicle that suits their needs.”

Go Ultra Low research also found that UK companies already using electric vehicles for business operations are more than 2.5 times as likely to offer them to their employees as company cars*****, giving them the opportunity to benefit from preferential benefit in kind (BIK) tax rates and reduced fuel costs. As well as the savings, company car drivers are eligible to sign-up to the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, enabling them to claim up to £500 off the cost of installing a dedicated home chargepoint.

The Go Ultra Low ‘Preparing for your electric vehicle future’ Summit, was held in London on 10 January, with more than 70 fleet decision makers in attendance – including representatives from some of the 140 businesses accredited as Go Ultra Companies. Go Ultra Low supports UK businesses by providing them with fleet-focused information and real-world case studies that demonstrate how companies around the UK can save money by including 100% electric and plug-in hybrids on their fleets.

Attendees at the Summit heard from number of leading industry figures, including a keynote speech by the Rt Hon Claire Perry MP, Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Go Ultra Low is a collaborative campaign and is the first of its kind, bringing together a consortium of vehicle manufacturers, government and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Visitors to can access a specially-developed interactive cost calculator and input vehicle type, fuel consumption and mileage data to gain cost saving-figures for owning a 100% electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.


Notes to editors

* 480,000 SMEs operate fleet vehicles in the UK (average five per business) [source Sewells].
Up to 46,000 already run EVs (total UK EV / plug-in hybrid parc +130,000 at end of 2017 – fleet share (65%) 84,500 – SME share of fleet (55%): approx 46,475)
480,000 minus 46,000 = 435,000.

** Lex Autolease data (September 2017) shows that both the pure electric Hyundai IONIQ (IONIQ Electric Premium 5dr Auto) and plug-in hybrid (IONIQ 1.6 GDi PHEV Premium 5dr) models benefit from a £120 monthly whole life cost saving compared to the Hyundai i40 (i40 1.7 CRDi Blue Drive Premium 4dr). This adds up to a yearly saving of £1,440 in running costs.

*** Lex Autolease data (September 2017)

**** Kee Resources (September 2017)

***** Go Ultra Low Companies survey (December 2017)

Links to tools

Journey Cost Savings Calculator:

Home Charging Tool:

Journey Range Calculator:

Car Tax Calculator:

EV Car Selector:

Charging Point Map:

About Go Ultra Low

The Go Ultra Low campaign aims to increase purchase consideration of electric vehicles by helping motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the wide range of plug-in vehicles on the market. The campaign aims to educate the public and fleet audiences about these vehicles by addressing outdated myths and highlighting benefits, including how they offer competitive practicality for both private and business users. provides a one-stop shop for information about owning and running electric vehicles, the makes and models available and the locations of the thousands of publicly available charge points.

Twitter: @goultralow

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