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Home » Employee Wellbeing » Helping employees make the switch to electric vehicles

Fiona Howarth

CEO, Octopus Electric Vehicles

Businesses can take significant steps to become more eco-friendly by participating in a new scheme to help workers make the transition to electric vehicles.

Making the move to electric vehicles is becoming easier for thousands of workers under an innovative salary sacrifice scheme.

The initiative offers leasing of electric cars through an employee benefit scheme. Companies can improve recruitment, retention and engagement.

Commitment to the planet

Outlining some of the benefits of electric vehicle salary sacrifice schemes, industry expert Fiona Howarth says: “It’s a fantastic offering to staff that boosts their benefits package and is a highly visible commitment to the planet.

“Employees are looking for companies that play their part to help fight the climate crisis, so it definitely helps with hiring, but also with retention and with net zero plans as well.”

Howarth, who is CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles, compares the initiative to “cycle to work but for your car,” where employees exchange part of their gross salary before income tax and national insurance, in return for a new electric vehicle.

It’s a fantastic offering to staff that boosts their benefits package and is a highly visible commitment to the planet.

Tax savings on the whole EV package

While there is Benefit-in-Kind tax to pay on electric cars – currently 1% and rising to just 2% in April 2022 – the saving from the gross salary is typically 30-40%. The actual cost depends on the type of car and how much tax the individual pays, but entry level vehicles such as the Volkswagen e-up can be around £350 a month, or as low as £200 equivalent from net take-home pay.

With Octopus Electric Vehicles, the salary sacrifice package also includes servicing, maintenance, tyre replacement, breakdown cover from the AA and even insurance – everything you need to take to the road.

That covers a choice of 60 different models from 28 manufacturers, fitting a home charger, and access to a specialist EV energy tariff with 5,000 free miles. “We make it as easy as possible to make the switch to electric,” she adds.

Environmentally friendly

The environmentally friendly cars are exempt from congestion charges and clean-air zone fees, “these cars are future-proofed to go into these locations without hindering your experience,” says Howarth.

With a range of more than 300 miles in most vehicles, she says people are realising how convenient it is to charge at home or work, with no detours for petrol or diesel. Companies from small organisations to major employers such as Mid-Counties Co-Op, Dyson and McLaren Racing have joined the scheme. The company also helps promote the scheme to employees with test drive events and a full marketing package to boost engagement.

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