By running cleaner vehicles and improving the efficiency of your fleet, you can without a doubt save money in the long run. And although BIK tax for employees may not be as sizeable as they once were for ULEVs, BIK tax rates are still lower than their petrol and diesel counterparts.
Car manufacturers have also seen this shift and in response to a growing demand, the range of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles is set to double in the next five years. This is great news all round as the vehicles become more refined and contract hire providers can begin to be more competitive with their pricing.
In the past, fleet operators have often overlooked the advantages of ULEVs, mostly because of their driving range. However, with ULEVs growing in popularity, and the advances in vehicle technology, a world of electrically operated vehicles may not be too far away.
Here’s our Top 10 ULEVs for 2017, all coming out under £40,000 as to avoid the £310 supplement:
|Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs)||Emissions||VED effective from April 1, 2017|
|First year rate||Subsequent rate|
|1. BMW i3 EV||0g CO2/km||£0||£0|
|2. Hyundai IONIQ EV||0g CO2/km||£0||£0|
|3. Ford Focus EV||0g CO2/km||£0||£0|
|4. Kia Optima GDi PHEV||37g CO2/km||£10||£140|
|5. Audi A3 Sportback e-tron||38g CO2/km||£10||£140|
|6. Volkswagen Passat GTE||39g CO2/km||£10||£140|
|7. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV||42g CO2/km||£10||£140|
|8. BMW 3 Series 330e||44g CO2/km||£10||£140|
|9. Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350e PHEV||48g CO2/km||£10||£140|
|10. Volvo V60 Twin Engine Hybrid||49g CO2/km||£10||£140|
1. BMW i3 EV 94Ah Auto
With a realistic driving range of 124 miles, and 0g CO2/km emissions, the i3 may be perfect answer to the city commute.
From the development of the car, to its production and everyday use, the i3 has been designed with sustainability in mind.
The i3 is packed with the latest technology, including a central 6.5 inch monitor which has a DAB radio, USB socket, Bluetooth, and a sat-nav that guides the driver to charging points. It will also warn you if your selected destination is beyond your current range.
When it comes to filling up, a domestic plug socket will take eight hours to fully charge. A faster-charging type 2 wall box can cut that to less than three hours. However, the i3 gets a fast-charging capability and a DC cable as standard, which can give you 80% charge in just 40 minutes.
2. Hyundai IONIQ EV
Hyundai’s new IONIQ is the first to be offered in a choice of electrified power trains – hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full electric.
The IONIQ has definitely caught our eye as one of the leading electric vehicles on the market. With a range of up to 174 miles, and 0g CO2/km emissions, it’s highly efficient.
Moreover, the IONIQ charging is equally as impressive. It can be recharged in just over four hours at home or public stations using a wall box. However, using a DC power source, you can recharge the IONIQ to 80% in just 30 minutes.
As well as being efficient, the IONIQ is also very safe too. Included as standard are the latest safety features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection and autonomous emergency breaking. Overall, you should definitely consider the Hyundai IONIQ as an Electric Vehicle for your fleet.
3. Ford Focus EV 107kW Auto
This is Ford’s first ever all-electric vehicle powered solely by a lithium-ion battery pack and AC electric motor.
The Focus makes our list because of the minimal running costs. The indicative electricity costs of 3.6 p/mile, VED and congestion charge exempt, help to make the Focus an economic option.
It’s not just the price that warrants its place on our list, but the official range of up to 140 miles make the Focus an efficient vehicle for your commute. From your standard home socket, you could charge the Focus overnight in 10-11 hours, although a fast charger can reduce this to 3-4 hours.
Like most low emission vehicles on our list, cruise control comes as standard with the Focus. Additional features such as hill start assist and reverse sensing system help make your life that little bit easier.
4. KIA Optima 2.0 GDi PHEV 202hp Auto
The Optima is Kia’s first ever plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. It makes our list as it delivers on low running costs and minimal environmental impact without compromising the driving experience.
Combining a petrol engine and an electric motor, the Optima hits a range of 33 miles in full electric mode. The seamless transition between electric and hybrid helps to deliver impressive efficiency, with emissions of just 37g CO2/km.
The Optima is an ideal company car as you can charge the car frequently at either work or home. It has a charge time of just three hours by a standard domestic supply. So you can easily charge it whilst at work without worrying about not having enough charge to make it home.
Additionally, you can experience the latest features such as wireless phone charger, advanced cruise control, and parking assist as standard. We think that the Optima may be a low emission vehicle that pleasantly surprises you.
5. AUDI A3 Sportback e-tron 1.4 TFSI
The plug-in petrol hybrid boasts an impressive 38g CO2/km, equivalent to 166 mpg. Although the 2014 e-tron was the first Audi plug-in, the functionality, comfort, refinement and practicality helps it to make our top 10.
The e-tron has a purely electric range of up to 29 miles and has a charge time of two hours 15 minutes from an industrial socket, home wall box, or public charging point. Therefore, you can easily charge it whilst at work or home.
The combination of electric motor and petrol engine make it a practical car for those long distance journeys too with a range of 536 miles.
With an iconic Audi design, and a comprehensive list of standard equipment, such as rear parking sensors, cruise control, and Audi’s MMI infotainment, you’re guaranteed an efficient and smooth drive.
6. Volkswagen Passat Saloon 1.4 TSI GTE DSG
The Passat combines an innovative electric motor with a modern conventional petrol engine. You can experience zero emission driving and a range of over 660 miles all in the same car.
With an acceleration time of 7.4 seconds from 0-60 mph, performance has not been compromised. Also, the Passat ranks impressively as a sustainable option, with 39g CO2/km emissions.
As standard, you will receive an adaptive cruise control system and Volkswagen’s discover navigation, which offers Bluetooth connectivity, maps, and DAB radio. Recharging the battery pack from your home supply would takes around four hours, whereas a higher power wall box will reduce this to just over two hours.
7. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2.0 GXEh Auto
The revolutionary plug-in hybrid was the first of its kind. It’s not hard to see why it is one of the UK’s best selling ULEV’s.
Using twin electric motors combined with a highly efficient 2.0 litre petrol engine, the Outlander achieves emissions of 42g CO2/km.
When travelling long distances, the petrol engine can either send power to the front wheels like a conventional car, or act as a generator to charge the battery pack. Running on electricity alone, you can travel up to 33 miles, but the rapid EV charger that is available means that you can recharge 80% of the battery in 25 minutes.
The Outlander is packed with the latest advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, and lane departure warning. So not only is it great for the environment, it’s very safe too.
8. BMW 3 Series Saloon 330e SE Auto
BMW has been at the cutting edge of electric vehicle engineering for a number of years. It’s no surprise to see their plug-in power plants under the skin of their more mainstream model.
The 330e is one of the first in the UK to benefit from an Eco-friendly mechanical makeover. Combining a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and electric motor, the 330e emits as little as 44g CO2/km.
The range of the 330e in its full electric mode is around 25 miles. With a recharge time of around two hours using a BMW iWallbox, it’s a good option for the city commute. If you’re worried about long distance driving, the 330e can still deliver strong efficiency, with an average of 34 mpg.
Overall, the 330e is an ideal company car. The BMW business navigation system is included as standard, and you can also benefit from cruise control. Additional features such as BMW emergency call, and Bluetooth hands-free facility, make the 330e both efficient and pleasurable.
9. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon C350e PHEV Sport Auto
In what’s an already highly efficient C-Class range, the new Mercedes-Benz C 350e Sport Plug-In Hybrid provides the most efficient ride yet.
The C350e makes our list for its impressive fuel economy of up to 134.5 mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 48g CO2/km. It mixes a 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine with an 85bhp electric motor, equalling 275bhp.
Although the fully electric range for the C350e is 19 miles, the average commuters travel distance would be less than this. Additionally, with a charge time of just two hours, you can easily charge it whilst at work or at home.
10. Volvo V60 2.4 D5 Twin Engine Hybrid
At number 10 is the Volvo V60 Twin Engine Hybrid. The V60 delivers brilliant fuel economy and low emissions, whilst providing fantastic performance. It offers great efficiency for a spacious estate car.
In its pure electric mode, you can cover up to 31 miles of zero-emission driving. Volvo’s partnership with POD point helps to make home charging even more efficient.
You don’t have to worry about not reaching your destination as the crossover between electric and petrol is seamless. In its hybrid mode, the vehicle is still very fuel efficient with 49g CO2/km emissions, equivalent to 155 mpg.
The V60 takes safety to the next level, with Volvo’s innovative IntelliSafe technology. The V60 is fitted with an adaptive cruise control system, lane keeping aid, and blind spot information, so you can relax knowing you’re safe on the road.
For quotations or advice and on how to successfully integrate ULEVs into your fleet, contact us on: