Would you have an electric SUV as a company car?
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Company cars as a whole are pretty damn boring. At first we had the ‘Mondeo man’ (it’s now slightly ironic that I am one now), then came the premium upgrade in the mid-2000s through the BMW 3-Series, and now the go-to options sit around stuff like Skodas and Vauxhall Insignias.
Of course, you can opt for some pretty meaty machines like BMW M2s and F-Types, but you’ll be hit hard by the carbon dioxide-based company car tax system. Basically, you’ll be shelling out each month for having a sportscar due to its tax band. That’s why diesel cars suddenly became the car of choice for a business fleet, something that has changed quite dramatically in recent times.
So if emissions is the big player when it comes to picking a business fleet of cars, it seems like electric cars could start to dominate this sector in the near future. And considering most company cars need to be convenient and flexible, the electric SUV could be the shape of choice.
It’s pretty enticing if you’re a car guy to grab a job that offers a company car, especially seeing as all the complicating admin bits of owning a car are taken care of by the business. But pouring chunks of your pay check on a performance car just because it emits a bit more CO2 will quickly become a bit of a stab in the gut. So are electric cars the answer?
Well first of all, it totally comes down to the kind of mileage you’re expecting to do on your business travels. If you’re just nipping around the the motorway for a few miles, having an electric car with a range of over 200 miles should be perfect. And with premium brands like Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes now joining the electric car game – all quoting ranges nearing 300 miles – the switch to electric in car fleets could be coming very soon.
The BMW i3 is already a popular choice for city-going business people and many other hybrids are now logical choices over and above something like a Golf GTI or a solely petrol saloon car.
People are naturally wary of taking the leap to electric car ownership so, technically, kicking your electric car experience off via a company car would be the perfect way to test how such a vehicle would fit into your lifestyle.
I’d imagine that if your commute is anything under 100 miles per day, you’d quickly realise that range anxiety isn’t really an issue and therefore an electric SUV would make the perfect companion as a company car. 95% of current EV charging is done at home anyway, so topping up when out and about would be a rarity in a car that boasts something near a 300-mile range.
Another factor is the image of your business. It's is massively cool to be seen to be environmentally friendly these days. Parade around your city in a fleet of EV SUVs with your company's sticking on the side and the public's mindset towards your brand could be changed significantly.
So I put it to you guys – would you pick an electric SUV as a company car if you were given the choice tomorrow? Would you take an e-tron over a 3-Series? Or an I-Pace over a Range Rover? Even an i3 over a Golf GTI? Tell us what choice you’d make in the comments below!