Driving electric: the e-era has begun.
There is more than one good reason to switch to an electric vehicle. It is financially attractive thanks to the tax benefits and lower TCO. But it is also better for the ecological footprint, despite the doubts that are sometimes raised. And driving with green electricity is absolutely possible. The range of these vehicles is more than enough for daily use. With good planning (and the right app), even longer distances are no problem. Because more and more (rapid) charging points are being built along European roads. And don’t forget superchargers!
Driving electric is financially advantageous
Numobi’s unique electric all-in leasing plan lets everyone drive green without taking a financial hit. Let’s review the many tax and economic advantages that make driving an electric vehicle affordable today…
The demand for electric cars is increasing steadily. More and more drivers also see the positive environmental and climate impacts of driving electric. But there are also many sound financial reasons, for private individuals, for self-employed entrepreneurs as well as for SMEs. The enactment of stricter CO2-emissions standards (the WLTP measurements) and the new individual and corporate tax regulations make electric cars increasingly interesting for tax purposes.
Corporations and the self-employed enjoy the same tax benefits, as explained in the paragraph below. In addition to that, 100 percent of the expenses from these electric cars are tax deductible. This applies to both the purchase/leasing price as well as to the maintenance costs, the tyres and virtually all other operating expenses. Seventy-five percent of the cost of the electricity consumed during a charge can be deducted as an expense. And, in the case of electric cars, the indexed solidarity contribution (CO2 contribution) that employers pay for employees with company cars is limited to the absolute minimum (€ 27.24 in 2020).
Private individuals who choose a private leasing package for an electric vehicle also enjoy a number of tax benefits. In Flanders, electric cars are exempt from Belasting op de Inverkeerstelling (BIV) [car registration tax] and road taxes. In Wallonia and Brussels, you pay the minimum: € 82.10 for road tax and € 61.50 for BIV. In certain cases, Flanders also provides a premium for the purchase or lease of a zero-emissions vehicle. This premium may be as high as € 4,000, depending on the catalogue value of the car.
And, in addition to this, there is also the benefit-in-kind [Voordelen van Alle Aard (VAA)] which taxes the private use of a company car. With an electric car, this benefit-in-kind is taxed at the most economical rate. The reason for this? The benefit-in-kind is calculated on the basis of the vehicle’s CO2 emissions, the catalogue price and the age of the car. And since the CO2 coefficient of an electric car is zero, these cars are subject to the lowest possible calculation percentage.
Use and maintenance
Even more financial advantages to driving an electric vehicle? Absolutely. The maintenance of an electric car is in many ways less intensive than that required for a diesel or petrol car. In an electric car, the motor oil, oil filters, air filters, spark plugs and drive belt never need replacing – because they are not there. What’s more, you also save on the replacement of the brake pads/discs since an electric vehicle brakes primarily on the engine. And, the clutch, the gearbox and the particulate filter in an electric car also never need to be replaced. Since an electric engine contains fewer moving parts, it is also less susceptible to wear than a petrol or diesel model.
And ‘fuelling up’ then? For an electric car that is charged at home and that consumes 17 kWh per 100 kilometres, the simulated electricity cost estimate comes to € 4 per 100 kilometres. Today, for that amount, you can buy just under 3 litres of petrol or diesel. The savings quickly add up. As a rule, companies are often subject to lower electricity rates, which makes charging even more affordable for them. Only if you choose a fast-charger on the road will you pay somewhat more per charging session but, of course, these charging points recharge the battery ultra-fast.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
If we consider driving a car from the standpoint of the TCO – in other words, the total cost of the use of the car throughout its entire lifecycle, including maintenance, taxes, insurance, tyres, tax deductibility, fuel (electricity instead of petrol) etc. – then corporations and self-employed individuals are often better off with an electric vehicle. Curious what the difference is? This handy website from the Flemish Government provides an indicative simulation and compares the TCO of environmentally friendly cars with that of conventional cars.
Buy or lease?
Today, the purchase price of an electric vehicle, when compared to a petrol model, is still a financial barrier for private individuals and companies. This makes leasing that much more interesting in the case of electric cars. Numobi is the first player on the market to offer a comprehensive mobility package that combines an electric car, charging station, installation, maintenance, charging pass and app for one attractive monthly fee. Couple this to the many fiscal and financial benefits mentioned above, and the conclusion is clear: from now on, driving an electric vehicle is a financially viable choice.
Range anxiety? There is no need for that!
Electric vehicles are the subject of many prejudices. And range anxiety is one of the most persistent. But the fear of not being able to reach your final destination due to the alleged insufficient range of an electric vehicle is entirely outdated. And this is why…
Range anxiety came about with the first generation of electric cars. These vehicles could drive for less than 100 kilometres on one fully charged battery, and they could only be recharged at a handful of public stations. Today, the landscape is completely different. By now, the average action radius of the latest electric vehicles is 200 kilometres and more. Various models reach up to 350 kilometres without a problem, and the ones that drive the farthest can go more than 600 kilometres on a single charge.
Most Belgians drive less than 40 kilometres per day.
But even a smaller range of less than 200 kilometres is sufficient for 87 percent of all trips made in vehicles, as calculated in an American study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This also holds true in Belgium. An annual survey of 2,500 Belgian employees conducted by a well-known HR company has shown this to be accurate. In 2017, two-thirds of Belgians travelled less than 40 km per day - in total - to and from work. Therefore, electric driving is perfectly possible for the daily commute to work and back home again, even without recharging in the company car park.
Long-distance travel? Check!
Long-distance travel is not a problem either. And neither are weekend trips: from the centre of the country, you can usually reach your final destination, at the coast or in the Ardennes, on a single battery charge. And what about a holiday to our neighbouring countries? By now, there are more than 100,000 public charging stations available throughout Europe, many of which are located within the borders of our immediate neighbours. Even the most adventurous electric drivers won't be stranded on the hard shoulder with an empty battery.
So, today, range anxiety is mainly a psychological phenomenon. And that is something you can quash once and for all when you choose a car with a range of more than 300 kilometres. The range of electric cars is determined using the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). This procedure provides a good indication of the actual range, but it is important to know that ‘lab tests’ like this often deviate from practical experience and that, depending on your average speed and driving style and on the traffic conditions and outdoor temperature (air conditioning / heating), your actual range will often be somewhat less far than predicted. And, in addition to the battery capacity, the size, the weight and the aerodynamics of the car also play a role in your actual attainable range. A more streamlined vehicle cleaves the air more efficiently and attains a greater range than a more angular model.
Which car has the greatest range?
The distance an electric vehicle can drive on one single charge – its action radius, in other words – depends greatly on the capacity of the battery. The Smart Forfour, for example, has one of the lightest batteries on the market. With a battery capacity of 18 kWh, it has a maximum range of 150 kilometres. In the mid-range segment, you will find cars such as the Hyundai Kona. It can drive approximately 400 kilometres on a 64 kWh battery. At the other end of the spectrum is the Tesla Model S 100D. This car can travel up to 610 kilometres on a single charge and has a battery capacity of 100 kWh.
How can you get rid of range anxiety once and for all?
With today’s technology, you will always find a charging point in the neighbourhood of your destination, whether that is at home, at work or at public charging points. The Numobi app guides you effortlessly to the nearest charging station. If you recharge every time you arrive at a destination, you will always leave again with a full battery. With a diesel vehicle, you only fill the tank when the fuel lamp switches on. Handle it the way you handle your smartphone - charge it every day. Or, how a supposed disadvantage of driving an electric vehicle is actually an advantage that should not be overlooked. Range anxiety with an electric car? From now on, you know better…
Charging: a piece of cake
Since the mobile phone, charging batteries has become an almost natural reflex. Of course, for your electric car, this requires a bit more than a socket outlet next to your bed. But the growing range of options makes charging easier than you think - at home, at work or at a public charging station. This is how it works.
Where can I find public charging points?
The locations of the public charging stations are easy to find using the Numobi Driver app which, besides displaying a map, also shares handy tips for electric driving. Using the app, you can select a normal or a fast-charging point, and you can see which of these points are available and which are occupied. It is worthwhile to regularly check this overview since charging points are constantly becoming available. Are you planning a long-distance trip with your electric car? If so, you should know that by now there are more than 100,000 public charging stations throughout Europe, many of which are located within the borders of our immediate neighbours. And, in coming years, many more will be added.
How do I charge my car at a public charging station?
Numobi customers have very easy access to public charging stations via their user friendly charging pass or via an app and a QR code from a MSP (Mobility Service Provider) such as Numobi. The app tells you where the charging stations are located, whether or not they are available, and what the charging rate is. You have access to the ‘traditional’ public charging stations. And to the fast-chargers, with capacities from 50 kW up to 150 kW, which can increasingly be found along motorways and crucial traffic arteries.
Park your car at a charging station whose green LED lights indicate that the station is ready-for-use. Connect your cable to the station and start charging using your charging pass. Once charging starts, the cable is locked, and you can leave your vehicle behind safely. The app registers the entire charging transaction. The settlement of the accounts of the operator of the charging station, the employer and the employee happens automatically. To stop charging, once again hold your charging pass against the charging point. Ready to go.
How long must I charge the battery to be able to drive 100 kilometres?
The charging speed depends on the charging capacity of the car and of the charging station and on the underlying connection to the electricity grid. Adding 100 kilometres of range by charging at home takes between 1 hour (fastest) and 4 hours (slowest). Public charging stations and charging points at work usually have higher power ratings than the points at home, so adding 100 kilometres of range at these points takes an average of 1 to 2 hours. Fast-charging goes even faster: 20 minutes to less than 10 minutes of charging adds 100 kilometres of range. It is also important to know that new technologies continue to shorten these charging times.
Charging at home: How does that work?
Charging an electric car via a regular socket outlet is not recommended. Charging this way goes extremely slowly. And since the car battery demands the maximum power from the socket outlet for a long period of time, there is an increased risk of overheating. A charging station at home is a more comfortable and safer option. With a station, charging your car is as easy as parking it, plugging in the cable and letting it charge.
At Numobi, commercial as well as private leasing customers may choose home charging stations from 3.7 kW to 22 kW. Depending on your home’s connection to the grid and on the charging capacity of the car, one hour of charging adds an extra 22 to 100 kilometres of range. The Numobi charging station, which is included in the leasing price, precisely tracks the electricity consumption using a smart app. The costs are immediately and automatically charged to any employer who provides a leased car with a charging pass.
And at work?
A charging station on the company premises is also a convenient option. Charging at work is often the cheapest option, due to the favourable electricity rates that companies enjoy. When using multiple charging stations, it is best to use smart charging. Smart charging avoids consumption peaks and therefore additional costs. It also takes into account the energy needs of the company and the presence of any locally generated electricity. And, of course, it also adapts to the individual charging requirements of each electric vehicle. Intelligent charging is part of what Numobi has to offer. More information? Take a look here.
How much does charging cost on an annual basis?
This depends, of course, on a variety of factors, such as your car model, average speed, driving style and the outdoor temperature (air conditioning / heating). A quick simulation for a Hyundai Kona that drives 25,000 kilometres per year shows an average power consumption of 0.2 kWh/km, or 5 MWh per year. If you would recharge that entire amount of electricity at work, you would pay € 0.15 per kWh, or € 750 per year. If you recharge entirely at home, then you pay an average of € 0.25 per kWh, or € 1,250 per year. Those who work with public charging stations should count on € 0.35/kWh or € 1,750 per year. As a comparison, consider a diesel car that consumes 6 litres per 100 kilometres and drives 25,000 kilometres per year at a fuel cost of € 1.50 per litre. The annual fuel costs for this vehicle come to € 2,250. A significant financial difference.
In short, those who drive electric, ‘fuel up’ easily, efficiently, and economically!
So, are electric vehicles now good or bad for the climate and the environment?
Right now, electric cars are definitely in the limelight. But lately, there has been quite a bit of contradictory news related to the ecological aspects of driving electric. Sometimes this news claims that electric cars create more pollution than petrol or diesel models due to their batteries, among other things. Is this true? Time for some clarity.
European Environment Agency, Natuur & Milieu and Febiac
In a recent study, the European Environment Agency (EMA / EEA) mapped out the CO2 emissions produced by various fuels throughout the lifecycle of various types of vehicles.
The study showed that electric cars emit considerably less greenhouse gasses throughout their lifecycles than fuel-driven vehicles. More specifically, they emit 20% less than diesel cars and up to 30% less than petrol cars.
Only when the electricity consumed is produced by coal does an electric car emit more CO2 than an internal combustion engine. The EMA based these calculations on the current energy mix situation here in Europe, where our electricity is produced via nuclear power plants, renewable energy sources and gas power stations. The current Belgian energy mix emits even less CO2 than the European average, which means that charging with electricity here at home is even more environmentally friendly.
A report from the Dutch environmental organisation Natuur & Milieu (N&M) also points out that electric vehicles are the best option, both for our health as well as for the climate. ‘To limit global warming, the transition to clean vehicles is essential. For passenger cars, the switch to electric offers the best solution.’ In our country, Febiac has also come to a comparable conclusion: ‘Broadly speaking, we can say with certainty that the complete lifecycle of electric vehicles, from production to recycling, offers undeniable environmental advantages relative to conventional vehicles.’
When it comes to CO2 emissions from electric cars, the difference continues to grow when the car battery is recharged with green electricity generated by wind turbines, hydroelectric power stations and/or solar panels. And since our European electricity is becoming greener by the day, the EMA report estimates that by 2050 electric cars will be some 73% more climate-friendly than petrol cars.
To achieve our climate objectives and a greater share of green electricity in the future, governments and electricity producers are making great efforts today. For example, the short-term Belgian goal is to produce 13% renewable energy by 2020. ENGIE, the largest green energy producer in Belgium, has already built 38 wind farms containing 153 wind turbines for this purpose. Good for a total of 331 megawatts (MW). In 2020, this electricity producer aims to reach the 550-megawatt (MW) mark.
By 2030, the European Union aims to obtain 32 percent of its energy from renewable sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines. Today, that figure is around 17%. Those who recharge at home can also contribute to sourcing green energy, for example by using their own solar panels. Or by opting for Drive, the new electricity contract from ENGIE that makes charging an electric car 100 percent green and extra economical.
The greener the electricity, the greener the electric vehicle becomes. And that also applies to the battery production process. It requires more energy and emits more CO2 to manufacture an electric car than it does to produce a car with a combustion engine. The reason for this is primarily because the battery in an electric vehicle is much larger, requires more complex raw materials and is more labour-intensive to produce.
However, this negative environmental impact is more than made up for when using an electric car. After all, zero CO2 is emitted while driving an electric car. Another advantage is that the battery in an electric car can later be reused and/or recycled. Often, the batteries in an electric vehicle that is too old to be roadworthy still retain much of their charging power. These batteries can live a second life, for example, storing energy generated by solar panels or wind turbines. And after that, the metals and other components in the batteries can be recovered and reused.
If you would like to know how environmentally friendly your (electric) car is today, you can calculate this with the Ecoscore. This calculation tool was developed by VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research, the VUB, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and the ULB, the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
The Ecoscore takes into account exhaust emissions while driving as well as the production and distribution of the fuel or electricity consumed. Each vehicle is scored on a scale of 100 points. The more environmentally friendly, the higher the score.
Ecoscore scores electric cars as ‘zero-emissions vehicles' – scores between 88 and 100 and higher – virtually the most environmentally friendly vehicles that exist. In densely populated areas, these vehicles are certainly a significant improvement. They do not generate exhaust, and they do not locally emit any nitrogen oxides, fine particulate matter, or sulphur dioxide. Another advantage of electric cars is that they run very quietly at low speeds, abolishing noise pollution in the busy centres of cities and towns.
Convinced that it’s time to reduce your ecological footprint?