Zenith has announced a new strategy for electric vehicles.
The strategy will see Zenith making all EVs (full electric, plug in hybrid or range extenders) available to its customers. In what the company believes to be an industry first, Zenith is offering E-Motion to both salary sacrifice and company car drivers, in its quest to make any EV vehicle more widely accessible. It also believes that no driver should be penalised by their choice of powertrain, typically EVs have received very pessimistic residual values from the industry. Its salary sacrifice offering includes 7 days of daily rental of a fossil fuelled vehicle, for journeys outside of the electric vehicle’s range.
On top of making the vehicles widely available, Zenith will also provide advice to its fleet managers and drivers. Special offers for electric vehicles, along with an E-Selector, are also being communicated to salary sacrifice eligible employees to support the uptake, where they are appropriate. The E-Selector suggests whether or not an electric, plug in hybrid or range extender electric vehicle would be suitable for the needs of a driver based on their specific profile. Solutions for charging stations will also be offered to the driver at their homes and customer options for on-site stations at work premises.
A whole life cost calculator has also been developed to aid customers in their decisions to add electric vehicles to their choice lists for particular driver populations. This indicates potential savings to companies and their employees.
In a recent survey of 100 Zenith company car drivers, 21.7% said they would be likely to lease an electric vehicle now or in the near future, 60.8% said they might do if they can get comfortable with range, charging times and the price, and only 17.5% said they would definitely not consider leasing an electric vehicle in the future. This compares with a similar survey carried out in December 2012 when 17% said they would definitely consider exchanging one car in their household for an electric car and 39% said they may consider it.
Training has been provided to Zenith employees, in conjunction with the Energy Savings Trust, through Zenith's training Academy. The aim is to provide the necessary knowledge and expertise to deliver advice on electric vehicle capabilities and suitability for individual drivers.
Ian Hughes, Zenith’s Commercial Director comments: “There is a wide range of electric and plug in hybrid vehicles available. A lot of the fear of change to electric cars is around adapting to new technology, range anxiety and charging times. We know they don't suit everyone, however for those who make short journeys, particularly drivers who can commute and charge their car at home or at work every day within range, they can offer a great solution with very low running costs.
“These savings can more than offset any increases in rentals leading to lower cost motoring for some users and drivers are fully protected from any depreciation risks. We want to help our drivers to understand the different technologies now available. With longer ranges for the new pure electric cars and range extenders or plug in hybrids catering for longer journeys, there are electric cars out there that suit many driver groups. As the charging infrastructure and technology improves further they will become more practical for a larger population of people.
“And to back up our commitment to Zenith’s E-motion brand, we will be making available the new BMW i3 to our salary sacrifice drivers, as well as our company car drivers. The all inclusive salary sacrifice price includes 7 days of daily rental per year for a fossil fuelled car to cater for higher mileage journeys when an electric car might not be suitable, providing a complete solution.