Three years ago, the government announced that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars would be banned by 2030. Since then, it’s no surprise that electric vehicles have rapidly grown in popularity. Billed as a cleaner, greener alternative to traditional engines, many companies are now left to consider the best time to make the switch. However, for any business owner or fleet manger, overhauling their entire workforce is a complex and costly operation. And before rushing into any decision, it’s a good idea to weigh up all the facts. If you’re unsure, here’s 4 reasons why it might be best to wait a while before buying an EV.
It seems range anxiety is definitely real. One of the biggest reasons that businesses (and consumers) are fearful about switching to EVs, is battery life and charging infrastructure. In cities and some towns, there’s a growing network of places to replenish EV batteries. Supermarkets, retail parks, petrol stations and more. But in the countryside, this isn’t the case. So if your business travels mainly in rural areas, this can be a huge stressor.
For this reason, installing chargers at employee’s homes or your business hub (if you have one), seems the ideal solution. However, the UK continues to face a cost-of-living crisis. And as we head into autumn, energy prices are even more at the forefront of people’s minds. For businesses concerned about costs, buying and charging an electric vehicle is an expensive and potentially risky purchase. If you decide to wait before switching, why not try the increased network of fuelGenie+? It includes 2,200 petrol stations for your drivers to refuel at, including low-cost supermarket fuel and most Shell garages.
2 Battery technology
Batteries are at the heart of electric vehicles. This is what propels them forward (without releasing harmful emissions) and also directly impacts overall performance, range and value. This kind of battery technology is still relatively new, meaning it’s constantly and quickly advancing. They’re becoming more energy-dense so drivers can travel further on a single charge. Plus newer vehicles need less energy to move and the technology lasts longer – thanks to lighter and more durable batteries.
This impressive technology sounds like a reason to run straight towards your local dealership. But it also means that if you buy an EV now, you might miss out on the latest breakthrough. On the horizon, there are solid-state batteries, which promise even better energy storage and faster charging. If you wait just a few years, bypassing this phase of rapid evolution, you can enter the market once the technology has stabilised.
The hefty price tag that people associate with electric vehicles, has been a huge blocker for many businesses. However, more manufacturers are now getting involved. Today, every famous carmaker has released, or is planning to release, an electric alternative. Luckily, for consumers and businesses, economies of scale kicks in. As production increases and more EVs are sold, the price of manufacturing gets cheaper. That trickles down so that we start to notice lower prices too.
In the last year, we have already seen electric vehicles getting cheaper. This is especially true for used models – prices fell by nearly 30% between June 2022 and 2023. Again, this sounds like good news. But prices are still high and for businesses replacing multiple vehicles, it would still be a huge financial burden. Right now, it may be best to continue with your current fleet. That way, you can continue to make the most of your fuelGenie or fuelGenie+ card and wait until prices fall further, budget-friendly options are launched or there’s a specific need to replace a vehicle.
The depreciation of your vehicles is something any business owner or fleet manager needs to think about. This is especially true if you prefer to sell and replace your vehicles after a year or two. In the past, new vehicles have been known to lose value rapidly, as soon as they drive off the forecourt. So far, the same goes for EVs. As we’ve discussed, the technology is lightning fast, which means that older models quickly seem less desirable.
If you prefer to invest in vehicles that won’t take a dramatic depreciation hit, it’s probably best to hold off. The rate should gradually slow, as technology advancements slow. On top of that, some automakers are starting to offer longer vehicle warranties. This means they’ll shoulder the burden of resale values and maintenance costs. Wait for these deals to become mainstream and you’ll be in a better position when buying an EV.
For any business, it’s tempting to future-proof their fleet by going all electric today. But our 4 key reasons explain why it might be best to shy away from the switch…for now. Whatever you choose, do your research first to make an informed decision based on your companies’ unique circumstances. And in the meantime ¬– why not make the most of your fuelGenie or fuelGenie+ cards to simplify refuelling, fleet management and admin?