With sought-after benefits like improved efficiency, comfortable rides and zero emissions, electric car leasing is becoming more popular, and in the last few years has really entered the automotive mainstream. If you're contemplating getting an electric car but don't want to/don't have the funds to purchase one outright, leasing can be an excellent and cost effective option.
Electric cars all follow the same general design:
An electric motor replaces the combustion engine of a conventional car, or the combustion-electric engine of a hybrid, and this is powered by a battery pack.
The battery pack can be charged at a charging station (at home, work, or in a variety of car-parks & petrol stations), plugged into the mains by a standard 3-pin plug, or via features like regenerative braking (kinetic energy generated when braking).
Electric cars don't require a conventional gearbox - the motor generates 100% of its torque at very low revs, which also allows for impressive acceleration (The Tesla Model S with Ludicrous Mode can get from a standing start to 60 in 2.8 seconds!). Because of so few moving parts, you'll also find the ride smoother and quieter than a regular petrol or diesel car.
There are plenty of reasons to take us up on an electric car lease deal, which would benefit both business and private drivers.
Emissions and efficiency
Roughly 75% of your car's environmental impact comes from driving it, which makes electric car leasing the best option available for drivers wanting to reduce their carbon footprint. Manufacturers are working on the remaining 25%.
Thanks to recent advances in technology, most new electric cars will run for between 120 and 200 miles on a single charge (official mileages can vary), and charging can cost as little as 3.7p per mile - which means big savings for you.
Our electric car lease deals are perfect for a business driver looking to save money. Electric cars attract better Benefit in Kind rates, which for a company car driver means more money left in your pocket. The table below illustrates the current rates for an electric vehicle.
|2020-21 (%)||2021-22 (%)||2022-23 (%)|
Let's show you some numbers: We will pretend your business is leasing a VW e-Golf with a p11D of approx. £33,785, and that you are in the 20% tax bracket.
The range of an electric car depends on how large its battery is. According to Which? tests, the tested range of several electric cars was between 58 miles and 242 miles. Government statistics show 56% of trips made by car were under five miles, 38% were five to 25 miles, and only 2% of trips were 25 miles or more, showing that most electric vehicles pack more than enough range for daily use.
So, if you use your car for local trips and a 30-minute commute, or even if you drive a decent number of miles every day, most electric vehicles will easily accommodate your driving, letting you charge your car when you get home at night.
So you've got your electric car lease, but how do you charge it?
Charge at home
The most common charging method if you choose to charge in your driveway is using a standard mains socket, which is the easiest but slowest charging option available, and will require you to run a lead from your car to the nearest plug.
Alternatively, you can get a fast-charging point installed in your home by a qualified electrician. This may cost you money (some new build houses may come with charging points installed, and government grants are available for you to install one yourself), but it’ll give you super-fast charging times and an easy-to-use charging point in your driveway.
Public charging points
According to free charging point mapping service Zap Map (iOS, Android), there are over 14,000 charging points at over 5,000 public locations across the UK, with the majority of these being fast or rapid connections that can fully charge a battery in between 20 minutes and three hours.
Obviously, you run the risk of not being able to find a charging point, but with more being added every month, and apps like Zap Map available, this is becoming less of an issue as time goes on.
The cost of charging an electric car differs depending on the model, size of battery and amount of charge required:
An electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that you have to charge - usually from the mains, unlike a hybrid which also has an internal combustion engine (ICE) and can run on other types of fuel.
A typical new electric vehicle has a range of around 200 miles, but this varies depending on the vehicle. The total range will be affected by factors such as your driving style, speed and weather conditions. It is estimated that most daily journeys are less than 30 miles and well within the available range.
Charging your car at home or work is the most convenient and cheapest option for most EV drivers. If you don't have access to off-street parking, there are public charge points you can use instead. You can search for these on sites like Zap Map, or on your local council website. Should you need to charge while out and about, you'll have access to a large network of public charging points at supermarkets, shopping centres, local authority car parks, fuel stations etc. There are currently over 12,000 public charging locations with around 20,000 charging units across the UK, with more being added every day.
The most common public charge point is a Type 2 connector and most EVs have a cable with a Type 2 connector charger. Tesla’s ‘Supercharger’ and ‘Destination Chargers’ are only intended to be used by Tesla models. However, there are some non-Tesla Destination charger points with a Type 2 connector which can be used by other make of cars.
Most charging networks accept contactless payment and all new Rapid and Super/Ultra chargers are now required to be available for contactless. Some networks are accessible on a pay-as-you-go basis or through an account. Costs vary depending on the charge point provider, but you can check the prices online for each charger.
You can charge your car with a standard 3-pin mains socket, but it's very slow and only recommended for occasional use when you don't have access to a charging point.
The type of connector varies from car to car, but most vehicles sold in the UK market come with the Type 2 (7-43kW AC) connector. Other connectors are CHAdeMO (50kW DC) and CCS (50-350kW DC). Tesla models usually have a 'Tesla Type 2' connector (a modified Type 2) or the CCS.
AC (Alternating Current) have a slower charge speed and are usually found in residential areas, car parks and shopping centres. DC (Direct Current) chargers have a faster charging speed and can be found at motorway services and some larger retailers. Public chargers are divided into four categories: slow (up to 3kW AC), fast (7-22kW AC), rapid (43kw AC or 50kW DC) and ultra-rapid (100-350kW DC).
Using a home charger is the cheapest and most convenient option, just plug your car in overnight and it'll be charged by morning. The power output of a domestic socket is only around 2.3kW, which isn't ideal for charging your car - it'll only add 6-8 miles range per hour of charging. If you plan on doing most of your charging at home, it's recommended you install a home charge point (if you can). You can get up to £350 inc. VAT towards the cost of buying and installing a charger through the government's Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.
All government funded chargers must use smart technology to minimise their impact on the national grid. To be eligible for the grant, you must have suitable off-street parking, and be able to provide proof of ownership (or keepership, since you're leasing). The charge point must be installed by an OLEV-accredited installer who will apply for the grant on your behalf.
Here's a short list of installers:
The full list can be found here.
Many workplaces already have charging points installed for their employees. If your employer doesn't, they can apply for the Workplace Charging Scheme. This is a voucher based scheme for businesses, charities and public sector organisations.
The cost of charging an electric car will depend on where you charge your vehicle and vary on the model, size of battery and amount of charge required. Home charging is cheaper than public charging points, as domestic electricity rates are lower, and in some cases domestic electricity providers offer cheaper rates for EV drivers and night rates. Some councils have installed EV charging points where they provide free electricity to charge your car and you just pay the normal parking charge. Check your council’s website for a list of charging points and prices.
Below is an example of the estimated charging cost of a BMW i3 according to Pod Point.
|Home (empty to full)*||£5.32||3.24p|
|Public Rapid Chargers (20%-80%)**||£5.92||6.02p|
*Assumes tariff of 14p/kWh. The cost of home charging will vary depending on energy rate
**Assumes tariff of 26p/kWh applicable to most PodPoint chargers
Compared to the average petrol or diesel car which costs around 12p per mile to charge, an EV is considerably cheaper to run.
Charging times can take as little as 30 minutes to over 12 hours. The times vary depending on the battery size, amount of charge left in the battery and the speed of the charger. An average size electric car battery (50kWh) takes 8 hours to charge from empty to full using a 7kW fast domestic charge unit, which is usually done overnight. It would take about 60 minutes to charge a 50kWh battery with a rapid charge unit to 80% charge.
This will depend on how many miles you drive each day. If you drive around 20 miles per day, then you would only need to charge the battery on average every 5 days. Electric car charging is a bit like charging your mobile phone, top up the charge during the day and plug it in overnight for a full charge in the morning.
Like the sound of electric? You can see our favourite electric car lease deals at the top of this page. We know they might not be for everyone though, so hybrid leasing might be better suited - you can learn more about it by clicking here.