What’s Switching to an Electric Vehicle Like?

23 May 2021


Portrait of Ryan HarrisWith the sale and rental of petrol, diesel vehicles due to be banned from 2030, and hybrid cars going the same way in 2035, the world is looking to a greener driving future. At SG Fleet, we’re already seeing the beginnings of that change, with EVs making up the vast majority of our lease offering.

With that in mind, we sat down and chatted to our Consumer Manager Ryan Harris about running an EV. Ryan not only runs our leasing team – he’s also recently switched to his own electric vehicle. Then his wife loved his so much, she went and got an EV of her own too!

Hi Ryan. Can you tell us a bit about your situation and how you use your vehicle?

I live about 12 miles from work but regularly travel to meetings 100+ miles away. I also have a young and active family meaning we are often travelling for days out and holidays.

Why did you make the decision to switch to an EV?

A few reasons really. The main one being cost; Benefit in Kind rates are extremely low and they are cheap to run. A ‘full tank’ of 280 miles costs me about £11! EVs are also incredibly fun to drive, the instant torque from the electric motor means even entry level models are incredibly quick off the mark.

Which EV did you choose and why?

I have a Kia e-Niro 4+ which I chose as a good value, reliable family car. I originally looked at a Volvo XC40 plug-in hybrid but the cost difference to the Kia was fairly significant and the Kia came with pretty much everything the Volvo came with.

My wife has a Mini electric. When she was in her early twenties she saved up and bought a brand new Mini outright. Then a couple of years later our daughter was born and she was forced to sell it so we could get something more suitable. I always promised her she could have another one when the children were a little bit older. This was a way of fulfilling that promise while saving some money!

Electric Mini at a charging port

The Mini Electric on charge (Image credit: Mini.co.uk)

Did you have any reservations about switching? If so, what got you past them?

I didn’t because 90% of my team lease electric vehicles, so I’m very up to speed with the pros and cons of having one.

My wife naturally had some of the worries some customers have, though, mainly around range and not just being able to go and fuel up. But they were quickly alleviated when she realised it’s not really any different to owning a car with a ‘normal’ engine.

The biggest difference is that long journeys just need a little bit more planning. But with the speed EVs charge at nowadays, it’s not like you need to sit and wait for hours on end if you do need to charge while you are out.

What did you need in order to make an EV viable and how easy was it to get what you needed?

Really, it was just the charging point, which I got installed at home with minimal fuss and at a relatively low cost. It has certainly paid for itself multiple times over since I had it put in!

How are you finding the switch to an EV? Does it feel very different?

In all honesty, not particularly! The EVs, to me, are certainly more fun to drive than a normal car. I suppose the biggest difference is that you just have to be extra careful in pedestrianised areas as the cars are so quiet people don’t realise you are there! Having said that, my Kia beeps when I am reversing – they call it a virtual engine sound system!

How are you finding the fuel efficiency?

Excellent! Like I say, I pay around £11 for 280 miles. In my old car that would have been £60+ in fuel!

Kia E Nitro Electric Car

The Kia E-Niro (Image Credit: Kia.com)

Any tips for would-be EV owners considering making the switch like you did?

I would personally only get an EV if you have the means to regularly charge it at home or work with at least a 7kwh charging point. While using public charging is okay on the odd occasion for longer journeys, I wouldn’t want it to be my only means of charging. Being able to come and just plug the car in overnight is great.

What would you say to anyone considering going green with their personal vehicle?

I would highly recommend it. Having an EV is not only great for the planet, it will likely be great for your pocket too! Our unique salary sacrifice offering, Novalease, lets you exchange your salary for car rental payments too. That means you pay less tax and NI, and can reduce lease costs by in excess of 45% – all on top of the significantly reduced running costs.

Thanks Ryan!

Considering an EV for your next car?

Visit our Novalease page to find out more. Or if you’re still weighing up your options, check out our blog on reasons to choose an EV.

Want to talk through your options with us? Email Ryan at RHarris@sgfleet.com or call us on 0344 854 5161.