This page provides fundamental information about our electric vehicles (EVs), including details of the many Government incentives and tax breaks which make owning and using an electric vehicle financially massively more attractive than Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars.

The Monthly Updates page includes detailed information on the ‘cost of electric motoring’ we are experiencing using our EVs, compared to fuelling conventional ICE cars.

In late-November 2019, we added a very exciting new electrified mode of transport to our EVs, so currently our ‘fleet’ comprises the following three vehicles, which are described in more detail in the following sections of this page.

VehicleSeating capacitykWh BatteryRange
on a single charge
Range recharged
using fastest possible charger
Range recharged
in 10 hours overnight at home
Riese & Müller Supercharger 2 eBike1170 – 10035 miles in 30 mins100 miles
Tesla Model X P100D Ludicrous7100265 – 27567 miles in 10 mins
190 miles in 30 mins
180 miles
Nissan Leaf Tekna530100 -11021 miles in 10 mins
65 miles in 30 mins
110 miles

Riese & Müller Supercharger 2 eBike

Alan just splashed out on some premium German engineering at its best, a top end Riese and Müller eBike, which is pictured below with a visiting Tesla Model S and in front of our Tesla Powerwall.

Riese & Müller Supercharger 2 eBike and Tesla Model S
Riese & Müller Supercharger 2 eBike and Tesla Model S

We’ll be posting a detailed review of life the Supercharger 2 when Alan’s put a few miles on it, riding our beautiful and empty local roads in Northumberland, which he’s already described in detail in his interactive eBook, The North Tyne Bike Ride Guide. For now, the key specs are as set out below.

  • 1 kWh battery
  • Range 100 miles
  • Fully integrated Bosch eBike sub-systems including:
    • 2 x 500Wh batteries, concealed in crossbar and mainframe;
    • 4th Generation Performance Line CX motor;
    • KIOX cockpit, magnetically attached to handlebars, which immobilises the eDrive system when removed and is synced to Bosch eBike app;
    • Battery management and drive control system, concealed in seat post;
    • Bosch eBike app, giving in-depth performance and energy consumption data for both the electric drive and for the rider.
  • Rohloff E-14 internal gear hub, replacing conventional gears, with electronic gear shifting.
  • Gates carbon belt drive, replacing conventional chain.
  • A ‘Thudbuster’ seat post shock absorber (literally to reduce pains in the arse).
  • And a very clever mounting for a water bottle…!
Riese & Müller Supercharger 2 eBike and Tesla Powerwall
Riese & Müller Supercharger 2 eBike and Tesla Powerwall

Alan purchased his Riese & Müller Wunderrad from the leading specialist in the North East of England, The eBike Store in Durham, to whom we’ve included a contact form on the links page, if you’d like further information. Simon and his team stock a wide range of eBikes and are exceptionally knowledgeable in their specification, supply and service.

Tesla Model X

Since February 2017, we have owned a Tesla Model X P100D, equipped with the high performance ‘Ludicrous’ mode. The Model X is a seven seater SUV, weighing 2.4 tonnes.

The fun bit (drag racing).

Model X versions with the Ludicrous option will slaughter most supercars (and plenty of motorbikes!) in a 0-60 mph drag race but will happily take your granny to bingo. Below are a couple of amusing videos of a Model X demolishing petrol SUVs and setting a world record for the fastest SUV on the planet, whilst out-dragging a Lamborghini Aventador.

Thinking of taking granny out for a spin, it can be particularly amusing to pull up at a red light alongside a common or garden supercar when you’ve got an actual granny in the back, maybe on the way back from her weekly shop. Borrow the granny if you don’t happen to have one handy, it adds singificant comedy value. Any old Ferrari will do if Aventadors are a bit thin on the ground in your neck of the woods.

Gently suggest that granny might wish to rest the back of her head on the headrest on the orange light. Then floor the pedal on green. And then use the helpful HiDef rear view camera on the giant touchpad to enjoy the look on Mr Maranello’s face whilst:

  1. You, granny, and up to five further occupants of the Model X disappear into the distance, whilst his highly impractical two seater sets fire to a lot of gas, makes a lot of noise, wastes lots of energy spinning metal bits in the engine and belches lots of poison into the atmosphere.
  2. His shopping falls off the passenger seat. It’s usually there because he’s got less luggage space in his entire car than you have in the ‘frunk’ under the bonnet, in addition to the very capacious hatchback boot of the Model X. Mr Prancing Horse’s car has to accommodate a large lump of OldTech doing the fire/ noise/ spinning/ belching thing; the Model X interior is, by contrast, essentially all usable space.

The sensible bit (saving money).

Amusing as it may be to put supercars to the sword at traffic lights (believe me, it is very amusing – the more expensive the OldTech car left in your wake, the greater the comedy value, you’ll find), the real value of electric cars lies in the massive savings in both emissions and cash they enable you to make.

In our case, with all EV charging at home sourced from solar and/or 100% renewable off-peak grid electricity, we’ve completely wiped out the pollution bit.

The emissions reduction is brilliant, but it’s the money that’s the real clincher.

We present below a detailed breakdown of the advantages of owning or driving an EV. This analysis applies only in the UK, where a variety of tax breaks and other Government incentives are available to support the uptake and use of EVs, which can make owning and operating a top-of-the-range Tesla cheaper after tax than a boring mid-range OldTech saloon. Other countries offer different incentive regimes, which will deliver a different mix of benefits.

Disclaimer:  This section of the website contains information on car finance and taxation. Its purpose is to convey general information that may be applicable when considering certain financial transactions, in certain circumstances.  This information is presented solely in order to produce an indicative illustration of the costs and benefits of EV ownership.  This website does not convey, and is not intended to convey, financial advice relevant to any specific person or business, nor is it intended as a solicitation to enter into any financial agreement of any nature whatsoever.  

Car finance and the related fields of personal and business taxation are complex.  Readers should seek independent financial advice before entering into any financial obligation.  Readers should not take any actions as a result of the financial information contained in this website, nor should they place any reliance upon such information.

Any or all of the tax and other EV incentives described in this website may change or be withdrawn at any time.  The authors and publishers have no control over when, if, and by how much, these materially relevant factors directly impacting the value propositions described may change or be withdrawn.

The authors and publishers of this website specifically disclaim any and all responsibility for any actions taken, or any agreements entered into, by any third party acting upon, or placing reliance upon, the financial information contained herein.  Readers should seek independent expert advice.

EV tax breaks, incentives and operational savings

The UK currently has a reasonably generous incentive regime to encourage users to switch from ICE vehicles to EVs. It’s not yet up there with Norway (where 58.4% of all car sales were fully electric in March 2019), but, frankly, the UK has no alternative to a pretty radical programme in order to wean users off the ICE habit.

It is already UK Government policy for conventionally-fuelled cars to be banned from sale by 2040. Accelerating this deadline, the 2019 General Election saw a positive competition between the parties on policies responding to the Climate Emergency. A very likely outcome, when coupled with the Tesla-catalysed transformation of the global automotive industry from ICE fuel to electrification, is that Britain’s roads will be all-electric well before 2040 – barring enthusiasts’ cars, museum pieces, and a very few specialist vehicles which require conventional fuel for technical reasons (e.g Fire Brigade pumps, which must be able to operate when batteries are depleted and no grid power is available).

In the context of all the subsidies available, it really makes financial sense to drive an electric car, as we explain below. Forget hybrids and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs); the tax regime targets the real incentives on 100% electric vehicles.

In July 2019, following consultation, HM Treasury announced their intent to strongly incentivise 100% battery electric vehicles (BEVs). In essence, the net effect of the changes coming into effect in April 2020 will make it ‘just plain stupid’ for an employee to drive a non-electric company car.

Benefit in Kind tax break on EVs for company car drivers

For many UK drivers, the biggest financial benefit will be the favourable treatment of pure electric cars under the Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) taxation applied to company cars. In summary, BiK works by taxing employees on the benefit they receive if their employer provides them with a company car as part of their overall remuneration package.

The BiK rate is set as a percentage of “P11D Value” of the car – basically the sticker price, including accessories VAT and delivery. BiK works by taxing less polluting cars at lower rates, whilst higher polluting cars are taxed punitively. The BiK rate is then multiplied by the employee’s personal tax rate (e.g. 20%, 40%). Basically, the greener the car the employee drives, the less of her/his headline pay is taken in tax.

The main point to note is that, from April 2020, the BiK rate on 100% electric cars will be 0%, reflecting their emissions of 0 g/km. That rate will rise to just 1% in April 2021 and 2% in April 2022. However, the most polluting cars – models which emit more than 165 g/km – will remain taxed at 37%.

We provide a worked example in the table below, contrasting two similarly priced upmarket cars. On the electric side, we work the numbers using a Tesla Model X Performance in five seater configuration (6 or 7 seats are possible too, as an option). Representing OldTech, we take a Mercedes S 500 AMG Line L Executive Premium Plus 9G-Tronic auto 4d (yes, that really is it’s official name…)

Multiple financial advantages: summary

The following table summarises the multiple financial advantages of EV ownership in the UK, using the example of the £97.7k Tesla Model X versus the £96.8k Mercedes S450 L AMG Line discussed above. The table presents the advantages over a typical three year term, commencing in April, after the start of Tax Year 2020 – 2021. Both cars are modelled to cover a typical business mileage of 15,000 miles a year, making 45,000 miles in total.

ItemTesla Model X PerfomanceMercedes S 500 AMG Line
P11D Value of Car£97,890£96,865
Emissions g/km0169
0 – 60 mph performance2.7 sec4.6 sec
Employee driving the car40% tax payer40% tax payer
Employee’s BiK tax 2020-21£0£14,336
Employee’s BiK tax 2021-22£392£14,336
Employee’s BiK tax 2022-23£783£14,336
Road TaxBase Electric Rate = £0/yearBase Petrol Rate = £145/year
Y1: In first year all cars are
taxed on their emissions.
£0
Y1 tax waived as
incentive for EVs
£530
169g/km Merc penalised with
pollution tax on Y1 charge
Y2 plus £320 ‘luxury tax’ for
cars costing over £40,000
£320
(£0 base + £320 luxury)
£465
(£145 base + £320 luxury)
Y3 plus £320 ‘luxury tax’ for
cars costing over £40,000
£320
(£0 base + £320 luxury)
£465
(£145 base + £320 luxury)
Fuel CostsAssume 60% charged using
5p KWh off-peak grid at home.
Assume 40% charged at
Tesla Superchargers.
Using 33.2 – 36.2 mpg: latest WLTP
Assume 36.2 mpg
£1.32 per litre = £5.99 per gallon
45,000 miles over 3 years= 19,260 kWh at 0.428 kWh/mile= 1,243 gallons / 5,644 litres
(60%) 11,556 kWh at 5p£578
(40%) 7,704 kWh Supercharger £0 (if car has free supercharging)
£1,849 (at 24p/kWh normal rate)
Total Fuel Costs£578 (with free Supercharging)
or £2,427 (normal SC costings)
£7,445
Tax & Fuel costs to driver over
3 years and 45,000 miles
£2,393 (free Supercharging)
£4,242 (paid Supercharging)
£51,913

The basic message here should be pretty obvious:

  • If you are a high-earning employee paying 40% personal tax, you should refuse to accept any non-electric company car from you employer, unless you actually want to be £43,000 worse off after tax over the typical three year term of a company car deal (on this example), more if you, not the employer, pay for fuel and road tax.
  • If you are an employer, and you want to give your senior staff a substantial ‘direct into the pocket’ pay rise, which will cost your business absolutely nothing, because it’s HM Treasury that’s taking the pain for once, then you should insist that their next company car must be electric.

Employers National Insurance Contribution Savings

Additionally to the massive tax benefits to the employee, the employer providing the benefit of the company car will pay massively lower Class 1A Employers National Insurance Contributions (NIC) on the benefit provided. NIC liaibility is worked on the formula P11D Value x BiK Rate x 13.8%. Therefore:

  • A total of £405 Employers NIC is payable over the three years for the Tesla.
  • A total of £14,838 Employers NIC is payable over the three years for the Mercedes.
  • The employer would save £14,433 NICs by providing the employee with an EV rather than a petrol company car, using our Tesla versus Mercedes example.

London Congestion Charge Savings

Ultra-low emissions vehicles (basically all 100% electric EVs and some of the better PHEVs) are currently exempt from the London Congestion Charge, under the Cleaner Vehicle Exemption scheme. There is a £10 annual cost to apply for and renew the exemption. Note: only 100% electric vehicles will be exempt from the charge from 25th October 2021. The exemption for PHEVs will be withdrawn on that date.

Using our example, the Tesla driver would pay only £10 to access the London Congestion Charge Zone for a year. Assuming the Mercedes driver used her/his car to commute to work in the Zone 5 days a week for 46 weeks a year (allowing for holidays etc.), this would cost her/him £2,645 a year at the full daily rate of £11.50/day, or £2,415 at the discounted £10.50/day rate available for cars enrolled in Transport for London’s auto-payment scheme.

Over the three years of our example:

  • £30 London Congestion Charge is payable by the Tesla driver.
  • £7,245 London Congestion Charge is payable by the Mercedes driver at the discounted rate.
  • £7,935 London Congestion Charge is payable by the Mercedes driver at the normal rate.

Summary of financial benefits

Using our Tesla versus Mercedes example, over the 3 year, 45,000 mile period in question, under the UK taxation regime, driving the EV as opposed to the petrol car generates total savings of around £70,000 as set out in the tables below.

Modelled on conservative basisSavings & Benefits for Tesla vs Mercedes
BiK and Road Tax savings, plus fuel savings: assuming no free supercharging for Tesla£47,671
Employer Class 1A NIC Savings£14,443
London Congestion Charge for regular commute:
assuming paid at discounted rate for Mercedes
£7,245
Total savings (conservative modelling)£69,359
Tesla vs Merc Savings – No Free Supercharging for the Tesla and London Congestion Charge paid at discounted rate for Mercedes.
Modelled on maximum achievable benefitSavings & Benefits for Tesla vs Mercedes
BiK and Road Tax savings, plus fuel savings: assuming no free supercharging for Tesla£49,520
Employer Class 1A NIC Savings£14,443
London Congestion Charge for regular commute:
assuming paid at discounted rate for Mercedes
£7,935
Total savings (maximum modelling)£71,898
Tesla vs Merc Savings – Free Supercharging for the Tesla and London Congestion Charge paid at normal daily rate for Mercedes.

Put another way, these savings effectively translate to incentives ‘giving back’ between 70.9% and 73.4% of the £97,890 sticker price of the Tesla.

There are £0 tax incentives and £0 fuel savings on the Mercedes: the ‘give back’ is 0%.

Charge Point Installation Grants & Related Incentives

Whilst it is possible to charge any EV using a standard 3-pin plug, it is very slow. So installing a dedicated domestic EV chargepoint is advisable. The Government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) provides a grant of £500 towards the cost of installing a dedicated EV charger at home. Two grants, totalling £1,000 can be applied for. To apply, the customer must order the chargepoint through an OLEV-accredited installer, who will generally advise on which type is suitable. The installer will deduct the value of the grant from the invoice to the customer.

OLEV also subsidises the installation of chargepoints at business premises, under the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS). In essence, WCS issues vouchers worth £500 per charger to businesses installing EV chargepoints for staff and visitor use. Up to £10,000 in vouchers can be claimed for up to 20 charge points at any one premises.

In a further advantage, any costs not covered by the vouchers are eligible for 100% Writing Down Allowance in the tax year the installation was carried out, thus reducing taxable profits by whatever proportion of the WDA amount was paid by the business business itself.

And a final advantage is that HM Treasury have decided that electricity provided to employees through workplace chargepoints does not count as a “benefit” and is therefore exempt from both employee BiK taxation and employers NICs. This parallels the very favourable BiK treatment of EVs themselves.

100% Writing Down Allowance on EVs bought by businesses

Another powerful Government incentive comes in the form of 100% Writing Down Allowance (WDA). In short, this allows a business which purchases (or hire purchases) an EV for business use, to set 100% of the cost of that EV against the company’s income in the tax year during which the purchase was made. Loading 100% of the EV on to the cost side of the business in a single year obviously reduces profits and, by extension, the tax the company has to pay on those profits.

The 100% tax offset, compares to only 6% annual depreciation allowable for conventional fuel ICE cars with emissions above 130 g/km. So, using our Tesla versus Mercedes example over three years, the following would apply in the case of, say, a very small specialist professional services practice. For the purposes of comparison, we model the SME company in question with an Annual Income of £500,000, Annual Expenditure of £400,000 and a resulting Annual Profit of £100,000 a year, and paying tax on profits at an effective rate of 24%.

ItemTeslaTaxMercedesTax
Sticker price of car£97,890£96,865
WDA used in Y1£97,890£5,812
Taxable Profit in Y1£2,110£506£94,188£22,605
WDA used in Y2£0£5,812
Taxable Profit in Y2£100,000£24,000£94,188£22,605
WDA used in Y3£0£5,812
Taxable Profit in Y3£100,000£24,000£94,188£22,605
Total tax paid on (3 x £100k)
£300k profits over 3 years
£48,506£67,815
Corporation Tax savings achieved by using 100% WDA for EV purchases in Year 1

We have worked the example on a very small business. The economics, of course, scale up to much larger businesses purchasing multiple EVs to create or renew a fleet.

In common with all cars purchased under the UK tax regime, a businesses buying any vehicle which is used solely for business purposes, and is strictly not available for private use, is also able to claim the VAT back

Nissan Leaf

Leaf detail will appear here.