Why it's the right time for entrepreneurs to accelerate their switch to electric
We're in lockdown for the second time this year, although fortunately it's somewhat less strict than the first one. Once again, a large proportion of the population is working from home and we visit customers directly in their living room via a PC or tablet. Meanwhile, our cars are sitting in garages or on our drives all day long. Since location-independent work won't be completely phased out even after Covid-19, businesspeople now need to ask themselves questions about their mobility. And in reality, this is the perfect time to go fully electric.
Mobility has been a difficult issue for businesses for several years. Belgians still see their cars as a status symbol that you just don't touch. Nevertheless, we've seen a gradual turnaround in recent years, which is being exacerbated by the current health crisis. Think about it – how many kilometres have you driven since March this year? Of course, we have to disconnect the mobility issue from the unprecedented circumstances we're living in today, but the fact is that we'll continue to work from home instead of being stuck in traffic jams on a daily basis in the future.
The situation also depends on the industry. As a leasing company, you cannot offer one uniform solution for all customers. Plumbers, for example, can't help their customers from their own home and are still on the road just as much as before the crisis. On the other hand, business managers or salespeople, who used to easily drive 30,000 kilometres a year, have barely seen their cars from the inside in 2020. For them, being mobile has recently meant moving from the bedroom to the bathroom and on to the living room, where the first customers are already waiting in the morning via Teams.
The demand for mobility has changed and every businessperson, both in large and small businesses, needs to be aware of this. Of course, we'll be driving more again after the pandemic, but the traffic that existed before coronavirus hit seems to be a thing of the past. After all, we've seen that things can change. Families with two cars are therefore certainly likely to ask themselves why they pay €800 a month for a vehicle that is constantly stationary. This doesn't mean that we'll no longer need a car in the future, but the current climate seems the ideal time to take the step towards a car of the future. And it's fully electric.
Forget hybrid, go electric
A car will be less and less an emotional choice in the coming years, and cars are tumbling down the ladder when it comes to our status symbols. Last summer, we were more focused on building swimming pools than on perusing the latest models and features from major car manufacturers. Sustainability is now also becoming an increasingly important factor when choosing a car. We see that the popularity of green cars is increasing sharply. This is particularly the case in smaller companies, where the move towards sustainable vehicles is being made much quicker.
Not that everyone is suddenly driving around in electric cars, as many Belgians are currently opting for an interim solution: a plug-in hybrid. There's nothing wrong with this in itself and, depending on the user, it's a good car for making the switch. But it often seems like the better option to go electric straight away. Ultimately, such hybrids have a limited range and the majority of drivers still regularly head to the petrol pump. Most objections to electric cars are no longer relevant. This is certainly the case as our mobility needs change, giving cars enough time to recharge. Such cars can be fully charged in just six hours, and if you use a quick charger you recover 80% battery capacity in just forty minutes.
What about car holidays ?
The only thing that may hold people back is the annual holiday in the sun, as that involves travelling long distances. Although, in theory, that's also perfectly possible with an electric car, there are options for including a holiday car in a lease contract. This would allow you to leave the electric car at home during the summer and head to the sun in another vehicle. That way, you won't suffer from smelly hands after refuelling for the rest of the year, and you also save a lot of money.
Financially advantageous and soon to be mandatory
The price also no longer has to be an obstacle. Of course, an electric model currently costs more than a petrol or diesel car, but we have to look at the big picture. The TCO also includes, for example, the consumption costs. And after deducting fuel savings and all the tax benefits, a green car costs the same as an equivalent model that you can't plug in.
According to government plans, we'll be obliged to drive electric cars from 2026 onwards, which is closer than we think. If an average lease contract lasts four to five years, this means that people are currently choosing their last non-electric car. At LeasePlan, we wanted to make our entire fleet electric by 2030. So far, the government has only given these plans a little push in the right direction. In the coming years, tax benefits will change, and in order to really benefit from a favourable arrangement, we can only recommend that you don't wait until you have no other choice.
"The fears people have about electric cars are also disappearing rapidly."
Most of the questions people ask concern charging stations and how much they cost, but there's also good news in this regard. It depends on whether you want a standard or a smart charging station. No one knows exactly how much electricity goes through a standard charging station, while a smart charging station registers all kilowatt-hours and reimburses them to the private user based on their consumption. With a standard installation, a standard charging station costs €1,400, with a smart charging station coming in at €2,000.
Imagine never having to drive to a petrol pump again and having your own filling station on your drive. Sounds great, right? LeasePlan is working with a charging station supplier to be able to make the switch quickly, meaning you wouldn't have to worry as everything would be installed for you. So, what's stopping you from going fully electric?
Are you also considering switching? Until 30/1, thanks to our Green Friday Deal, you will receive a 50% discount on your charging station when leasing an electric car! More information about this promotion can be found here.