Last night, at “Reduce Operating Costs, Tax & Carbon by Introducing a Low-carbon Vehicles, into your Corporate Fleet” CBI Scotland, The Gupta Partnership, Alphabet and Eastern/ Western Motor Group covered all the benefits of electric and hybrid vehicles in fleets. There was also one of the world’s most advanced electric cars – the BMW i-3 available for a test drive.

The event was organised in light of Transport Scotland’s “Switched on Scotland” initiative to promote electric and hybrid vehicles for a sustainable future and was hosted in the beautiful RBS Business School in Edinburgh.

A key message that came across from all presentations was that shifting to low-carbon vehicles can significantly reduce environmental pollution and corporate carbon foot print. It is clear that this is great news from an environmental perspective but what I was most interested to know is, why is it a business opportunity and what are the economic and corporate benefits?

With more than half of new cars in the UK being bought by fleets, Transport Scotland’s decision to make the purchase of corporate low-carbon vehicles a priority is justified.There are significant taxation and funding benefits that make the deployment of plugged-in fleets very attractive. When it comes to partnerships, the tax savings can be almost 45% of the purchase cost while there’s also a £5000 grant available from the UK government. Now, these seem to me quite important financial benefits to get corporate fleets deploying low carbon vehicles.

When the presentations were finished, everyone was excited as we had the chance to explore some of the world’s most advanced low carbon vehicles which showcased the latest EV and hybrid cars technology. I really liked the Lexus and Volkswagen models, however what caught my eye was the BMW i-3. With its impressive features, emission-free electric motor and beautiful design this is definitely a car that will change our perceptions about electric vehicles.

Gordon Povey & Ash Gupta