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Lean, green, battery powered machines ............

13 April 2017

Here at Springfords, we try to be as ecologically sound, or perhaps environmentally friendly, as we can, whether it’s using our recycling bins correctly or saving used batteries – we even have a Green Team to keep tabs on what we do.

We’re proud to announce that, as of 15 March 2017, we’ve taken things to another level, by installing our very own electric car charging station in our car park. This is now available to be used by any of our clients or other visitors to Dundas House – just let our reception know that you’d like to use it!

So, should you be swapping your current car for an electric model? Regardless of whether you’re a die-hard petrol head when it comes to cars, or if you don’t mind what you drive as long as it gets you from A to B, there is no denying that there has been a lot of media attention over the last few years as far as electric cars are concerned.

A common complaint against electric vehicles is that their range is insufficient for long haul or motorway driving, restricting them to city or town journeys only. While this may still be the case with some models, others also have a small secondary petrol engine that can extend the battery life, and as battery technology develops, no doubt we will see journey ranges continue to extend. One of our staff (Ian Tomlinson) has an electric car and travels at least 50 miles each day, which he manages without too much trouble!

Electric vehicles can be charged at home from a standard plug socket (or from a specially fitted charging socket) at a relatively low cost of usually no more than a few pounds per full charge, or at public charging points found at various locations such as supermarkets, train stations and car parks. Many of the latter can be used for free, or for a small annual charge.

As the Government is keen to promote the use of eco-friendly green transport, it’s not surprising that individuals and businesses can still obtain grant funding to assist with the cost of installation of the specialist charging points, which is something we've taken advantage of for the charging point we/ve installed.

There’s also good news if you’re an employer and you decide to provide employees or directors with electric company cars. Assuming the vehicles will be used for both business and private purposes, the 2017-18 taxable car benefit in kind (BIK) starts from just 9% of the car’s list price (if it’s got a CO2 figure of less than 50g/km), compared with up to 37% for petrol or diesel cars. If the BIK is less than the petrol equivalent vehicle, the employee /director should pay less income tax on the provision of their car, and the employer will have a lower national insurance cost by providing this type of vehicle.

In addition, if qualifying vehicles are purchased, businesses can obtain 100% tax relief on their cost – this allowance is currently available on vehicles purchased until April 2021. The image of electric cars has perhaps been a little unflattering in the past, but the range of vehicles now available might surprise you – manufacturers such as VW, Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo now joint Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Hyundai and Tesla, to name just a few.

If you’ve got a question about the tax treatment of electric cars, please get in touch with your usual Springfords contact, and if you’d like to find out more about the funding available please contact Ian on itomlinson@springfords.com.

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