National Clean Air Day 2023 – making the switch to an EV

Ryan's EV car plugged into charge point

Did you know that each of our salaried colleagues are offered a company car as part of their benefits package? Across every band, colleagues can also opt for an electric vehicle. Have you considered making the switch to electric? We spoke to three of our company car drivers about their EV driving experience – Meet Jada, Ian and Ryan, all first-time EV drivers!

How has your driving experience changed since switching to an electric vehicle?

Jada: I must say it offers an incredibly smooth driving experience. One notable aspect is the absence of engine noise, resulting in a quiet and seamless start-up.

Ryan: The drive is a lot quieter and smoother, overall, it’s been a very positive experience. You do need to plan better for longer journeys, but it’s rare to make journeys more than 150-180 miles anyway.

Ian: Last year my old car began to need more and more work. It was also no longer suitable for my family’s needs (we had a lockdown dog, a German Shepherd) so I decided to dive into a company EV that had room for the dog to come along on our trips. I do a couple of longer trips every other week and generally work from home or have a commute of around 50 miles round trip. The car is great fun to drive – the acceleration is way quicker than my former car with 175bhp. But I have found that I am driving steadier on the whole and experienced a new relaxed driving style.

Have you found any benefits to driving an EV over a petrol or diesel?

Jada:  The convenience of being able to charge the vehicle at home is a game-changer. It not only saves time but also allows me to optimise idle periods by combining breaks with charging sessions.

Ryan: Being able to charge the car at home has been the biggest benefit. I’ve also switched to a night tariff for my energy at home which means charging the car between the hours of 12:30am – 4am is 4x cheaper than charging it in the day. I also only charge it only once or twice a week so the costs are minimal. The carbon reduction is also great.

Ian: After looking at the choices available I settled on a Kia Niro EV. This provides a good level of accommodation and a reported range of 287 miles. I took delivery in February, and range then was just over 200 miles, but as the weather has warmed up the range has improved and is now around 260 miles. With electricity costing around £0.35/kWh (with energy price cap applied) and a 64-kWh battery a full charge costs £22.40 for 260 miles, giving a fuel cost of £0.08 per mile.

What would you say to people who are nervous about ‘range anxiety’ or the ‘lack of charging infrastructure’ which may stop them from transitioning to an EV vehicle?

Jada: Initially, I had reservations myself, but once I delved into the topic and educated myself about EVs, I realised they are far from daunting. I believe it’s essential for people to conduct thorough research on electric vehicles to fully comprehend what is to be expected.

Ryan: I would encourage anyone to ask themselves ‘How often do I make trips more than 200 miles?’. Planning and having a good app on your phone really help. ZapMap has been a great tool that I use to find a charging point if I’m out and about on the road. If you’re in a city or urban area, you should be covered. Lots of supermarkets and other places have free charging points too! Many service stations are also putting in more EV charging points.

Ian: I still have some range anxiety, but with my own charger at home the car gets topped up regularly once I have around 100 miles of range left. I haven’t visited a petrol station since February and this saves you buying unnecessaries! I haven’t yet had to charge it away from home. Good planning and preparation are the key. We have a small petrol engine car in the household too as backup should something happen when the car has insufficient range, but as yet this hasn’t been needed. We are away in the summer in Cornwall in the EV so that will require some more planning I’m sure, but I plan on part-charging on the way down and then finding chargers in the area when I am there.

Do you think this is a good employee benefit provided by Waterman Aspen?

Jada: Undoubtedly, the company car provided by Waterman Aspen is a significant advantage. For individuals who are starting out with the company and may not have the means to afford a vehicle; this would be a desirable incentive.

Ryan: It’s a great benefit that people of all levels can access. There are also wider environmental benefits to switching to an EV which are extremely rewarding.

Ian: I think Waterman Aspen giving us access to EV company cars is a great perk – it’s encouraging the transition to zero emission vehicles and getting more on the roads, which will ultimately be resold to the second-hand market. The company car tax advantages of an EV are also great.

National Clean Air Day 2023 – making the switch to an EV
National Clean Air Day 2023 – making the switch to an EV
National Clean Air Day 2023 – making the switch to an EV

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