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Business & Economy

North East companies could save by switching to electric vehicles

North East SMEs could save thousands of pounds thanks to a new free advice service on using electric vehicles (EVs) for business operations.

The Fleet Revolution is a support programme available to SMEs that are registered in County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

It is part of the Go Ultra Low NE initiative led by the North East Joint Transport Committee. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the Fleet Revolution aims to help companies and motorists understand and consider the benefits of owning or driving a plug-in vehicle.

Based on a typical switch from conventional powered cars to EVs, it is predicted that each SME could make annual fuel savings of £2,000 per fleet vehicle and reduce CO2 emissions by 4,000kg per vehicle. Businesses can also make use of capital allowances and workplace charging grants, while employees can access the lowest company car tax rates.

The Fleet Revolution programme will provide eligible SMEs with up to 12 hours of dedicated support, tailored to their specific needs from a selection of workshops, roadshows, fleet reviews and bespoke consultancy advice.

The support is provided by Urban Foresight, who have detailed technical knowledge of all areas of EVs, and a wealth of experience in running SME support programmes which focus on delivering real value to participants.

More than 70 percent of EV registrations are made to UK businesses meaning that fleets and businesses are leading the charge for plug-in cars and vans, highlighting the important role that companies play in growing the low emission vehicle market.

Councillor Martin Gannon, chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said:
“We are seeing more and more businesses make the switch to EVs and it comes as no surprise considering the money saving incentives on offer.

“The Fleet Revolution support programme is designed to educate local SMEs, no matter how big or small, in the options available for their business, guiding them through the possibilities EVs can bring, not only to their business, but to their employees.”

Rachel Beeton, director of Urban Foresight, commented:
“We are excited about the opportunity to bring to life the benefits that EVs can offer SMEs. We can support businesses at all stages of their transition to electric fleets.

“We are focused on delivering tailored support which really makes a difference to the individual companies and delivers real benefits.”

If you are an SME in the North East and would like to join the Fleet Revolution programme or would like further information, please contact [email protected] or call 0191 495 7350.