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In the spotlight: Go Ultra Low

Go Ultra Low is the new joint venture between the UK government and industry, which increases consumers' consideration of electric vehicles, helping them to understand the benefits and cost-savings of investing in an EV. We spoke to Go Ultra Low's Poppy Welch to find out more...

What do you think are the biggest challenges that people face when investing in an electric or plug-in vehicle?

One of the biggest challenges for fleet operators is to look beyond the initial list price of the vehicle. Electric vehicles benefit from government grants, tax incentives and have significantly lower fuel costs, all of which help to reduce the total cost of ownership. In addition, these vehicles provide notable environmental benefits as they produce substantially fewer emissions. In the right circumstance, where the right vehicle is used, the whole life cost can be much less than that of a traditionally fueled car.

What are the reasons behind people investing in electric and plug-in vehicles?

Simply put, electric vehicles can save businesses and motorists money. The fuel cost savings are considerable and there are a number of tax benefits. Whole life cost data illustrates how the initial investment is more than offset by the in-life fuel savings, reduced SMR costs and tax benefits.

Are there any specific innovations/ new technologies that you find particularly interesting at the moment?

We’re excited by new technology that allows electric vehicles to go further on a single charge, and recent advances in battery technology have seen the range of some electric cars dramatically increase. This is great news for both private and fleet buyers and will help to increase the relevance of EVs to a wider audience. In addition to range improvements, the growing public charging network is making it possible for more people to go further using electric vehicles than has previously been the case, with a network of more than 11,000 chargepoints now in place. We’re also looking forward to seeing the first wireless charging cars appear on the market, with several vehicle manufacturers developing technology that will allow vehicles to recharge via electromagnetic pads. EV technology is constantly evolving and new models, with ever-increasing ranges and improvements in charging capabilities make electric cars hard to ignore.

Which manufacturers do you think are leading the way in terms of hybrid and electric vehicles?

Go Ultra Low’s vehicle manufacturers are leading the way, enhancing the variety and capabilities of electric cars – an essential step in increasing plug-in vehicle uptake. Today, more than 35 plug-in models are available to UK motorists – four times the number on the market just five years ago – with yet more new versions to launching this year. It is an exciting time to be in the market for an electric car.

Can you tell me more about the manufacturers which are supporting the Go Ultra Low campaign, and the work that the campaign is doing to promote the uptake of EVs?

The eight vehicle manufacturers (Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, Volkswagen) that make up the Go Ultra Low consortium are at the forefront of new electric vehicle technology and are driving the growth in the UK EV market. Between them, these manufacturers offer the full mix of ultra-low emission technology. From pure electric cars that are capable of up to 200 miles, range-extended cars, fuel cell electric vehicles, more commonly known as hydrogen vehicles, (up to 300 miles) and plug-in hybrids (offering drivers the best of both worlds), there is an EV that meets everyone’s needs and lifestyle.

How do you see the future of the EV market growing?

According to multiple electric-car sales reports and forecasts collated by Go Ultra Low, more than half of all new car registrations – around 1.3 million – could be electric by 2027. There is certainly a lot of room for growth. In the corporate sector, for example, our research has shown that only 25% of UK businesses offer electric vehicles to their employees as company cars – with almost 70% of user-choosers saying that they would consider an electric car if the technology was made available to them.

How is the UK government planning on increasing the uptake of EVs and plug-in vehicles?

In order to align the UK with emission targets. The Government’s ambition is for almost all cars and vans to be zero emission by 2050. EV registration figures certainly show we are moving in the right direction. The Government is investing over £600 million by 2020 – plus £270 million announced at the 2016 Autumn Statement - to support the growing early market for ultra-low emission vehicles, which includes providing a grant of up to £4,500 towards eligible plug-in cars. Since 2010, the government has invested nearly £100m in the UK’s charging infrastructure. For businesses looking to make the switch to electric, the Government also runs the workplace-charging scheme, which provides support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle chargepoints.

What’s next for Go Ultra Low?

There is significant potential for further electric vehicle growth in the UK. Go Ultra Low will continue to work with company decision-makers, giving them the confidence to invest in electric vehicles both now and in the future.

All figures provided are those of the manufacturer(s) and are not necessarily those of Go Green Leasing.

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Posted on 3rd August 2017 at 2:55 PM

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