Fast-expanding contract hire and leasing company Ogilvie Fleet has become one of the first companies in the sector to receive ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status.
The recently launched government and automotive industry initiative run by campaign group Go Ultra Low recognises UK businesses that are embracing electric vehicles.
Ogilvie Fleet is now one of almost 50 employers across all business and industry sectors to gain ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status to date, in recognition of how it has already opened its own company car fleet to electric vehicles and made a commitment to boosting their uptake over the next five years.
Public and private sector organisations that already use electric vehicles, or offer them to employees as company cars, are eligible for ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status, providing there’s a commitment for them to make up 5% of their vehicle fleet by 2020. The qualifying criteria incorporates pure electric, plug-in hybrid and range extended vehicles producing 75g/km or less of CO2.
Electric vehicles on Ogilvie Fleet’s own company car fleet include BMW i3, Mercedes C350, Mitsubishi Outlander, Volkswagen Golf E, Tesla and Porsche Cayenne models as well as hybrid versions of the Mercedes C Class and Lexus GS.
Ogilvie Fleet’s own company car fleet currently numbers some 35 cars of which 17% meet the qualifying criteria for ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status. Furthermore, the business is forecasting that the figure will reach 25% by 2020. Additionally, Ogilvie Fleet has electric vehicle recharging points at its offices in Sheffield and Stirling with the Gateshead office to have one in the near future.
By choosing an electric vehicle as a company car, employees can potentially reduce their benefit-in-kind tax bill and cut fuel bills, while employers’ benefit from government plug-in grant support on the purchase price, reductions in Class 1A National Insurance, Vehicle Excise Duty exemption and advantageous capital allowances.
Nick Hardy, Ogilvie Fleet sales and marketing director, said: “It is great that we have qualified with our own company car fleet to support Go Ultra Low’s drive to encourage uptake of ultra-low and zero emission vehicles.
“Reducing CO2 emissions from all vehicle usage is important and Ogilvie Fleet is leading by example, while also encouraging our customers to be similarly pro-active if electric models are proven to be fit for purpose for business as well as employees’ lifestyle requirements.”
He continued: “Historically diesel power has for many years dominated our own company car fleet. But the move away from pure diesel is being driven by a combination of factors but the most important is the benefit-in-kind tax cost per month.
“Our staff have all the information at their disposal and are using their knowledge and experience to make their car choices. Like most company car drivers our employees want to pay the lowest amount of benefit-in-kind tax possible, while ensuring their chosen car meets their lifestyle requirements.”
Staff change their company cars on a three-year operating cycle with the open choice policy according to grade linked to Ogilvie True Cost. That takes the established principle of whole life costs as its base and then adds in crucial additional financial elements such as employer Class 1A National Insurance contributions and subtracts a corporation tax saving before adding back in to the calculation any applicable lease rental disallowance to provides a far more accurate representation of the actual costs associated with vehicle operation.
Ogilvie Fleet is one of the UK leading vehicle providers with almost 14,000 leased cars and vans on its books and a further 1,600 on fleet management.
Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said: “We want to encourage every business in the UK to follow the example set by Ogilvie Fleet and offer their employees the chance to drive or own an electric vehicle. Not only can they promote cleaner motoring, but there are multiple short- and long-term financial benefits for companies and their employees to enjoy. Thanks to the variety of models available and their cost-saving potential, this is a realistic and rewarding option for businesses large and small.”
‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status qualifying criteria mirrors government forecasts that electric vehicles will represent 5% of total UK new car registrations by the end of the decade. The government has earmarked £600 million until 2020 to support the plug-in vehicle grant scheme, expand the charging infrastructure, and boost the electric car industry.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “It’s great to see a growing number of British fleets going green and I would encourage other businesses to learn from these Go Ultra Low companies and benefit from the huge fuel and tax savings offered by electric vehicles.”
Go Ultra Low exists to help UK organisations and motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the raft of electric vehicles on the market. The collaborative campaign is the first of its kind, bringing together a consortium of vehicle manufacturers, government and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).