Electric company cars now cover the same annual mileage as their petrol or diesel counterparts while delivering lower fuel costs and CO2 emissions, new real-world data gathered from fleet operators has demonstrated.
Longer ranges, faster charging and a wider choice of products, supported by renewed company car tax incentives, have significantly broadened the potential use cases for electric vehicles. Fleet management company Epyx has claimed usage patterns are now almost identical to those of combustion-engine models.
Data from the 1Link Service Platform shows electric cars averaged 11,588 miles by their first annual service, compared with 10,416 for petrol or diesel vehicles. That gap doesn’t close by the second service, at 17,774 and 17,222 miles respectively.
Meanwhile, Webfleet telematics data suggests British fleets can achieve some of the largest cost and CO2 reductions in Europe if they transition from diesel to electric, due to their typical mileage and journey types.
Its figures show fleet cars and vans averaged 21,000 miles per year in the UK, based on 2022 data, resulting in per-vehicle CO2 reductions of more than a 13 tonnes (at the tailpipe) compared with an equivalent diesel – a saving matched only by the Netherlands.
For context, National Grid ESO claimed average grid carbon intensity of 182g per kWh of electricity in 2022, which equates to emissions of 30g/km for a Kia Niro EV or 47g/km for the Vauxhall Vivaro-e van.
That’s equivalent to 1.0 and 1.6 tonnes of CO2 respectively over 21,000 miles of driving. Unlike the diesel calculations used in the study, this includes emissions from producing and transporting the energy.
Webfleet added that UK fleets can save £3339 per vehicle by going electric, and operators are recognising that potential. Fluctuating fuel prices last March led to a 300% increase in demand for its electrification reports, using telematics data to highlight which vehicles can be replaced with electric alternatives.
However, the rising cost of energy is narrowing that gap. Mina’s Homecharge software, which aggregates charging sessions into a single invoice, showed company car drivers paid an average of 9p per mile for electricity using a typical mix of home and public charge points last autumn.
Although that’s still cheaper than fossil-fuelled vehicles, it demonstrates that HMRC’s advisory electric rate (AER) – the per-mile figure used to reimburse business journeys – still doesn’t cover real-world charging costs. Despite being raised from 5p to 8p per mile last November, it leaves drivers out of pocket for 80% of home and 100% of public charging sessions, according to the company.