What is the best electric car to lease in 2019? When is that new Model 3 Tesla ready to price and order? Looking back over the recent 5 years’ and you would find it very strange to think that electric automotive solutions are becoming so popular and topical.
We have been repeatedly saying that 2019 is the seminal year for all things electric (hybrid, PHEV and pure electric) as companies and individuals are now thinking further ahead about sustainability and adequate fleet management.
Tesla have been a major figurehead in the changing attitudes; what was a maverick organisation led by an eccentric billionaire has become one of the leading proponents of electric solutions in the automotive industry.
They have since gone on to look at energy creation and storage, space travel and other transport solutions.
One of the big criticisms of their product was price – was it possible to lease a Tesla for under £500 per month?
Previously, this was not the case, as the Model S and Model X are expensive and luxury cars costing in excess of £60,000. Very much a car for the upper-middles classes and directors of a business, Tesla alienated the mass-market due to the huge cost.
But wait… there is a new Tesla ready to offer a more affordable solution.
Say hello to the Model 3 and yes, just by clicking the link here you can build (and order) it for August/September 2019
So is the Tesla Model 3 the best in the electric cars segment? It definitely offers a fantastic solution for the general masses, with a 3 key options:
1. Standard Range Plus (258 mile range/140mph top speed/5.3 second for 0-62)– starting from £38,050, the base rear-wheel drive is a great start for those on a more restrictive budget;
2. Long Range (348 mile range/145mph top speed/4.4 second for 0-62) – a £47,050 middle-range All-Wheel drive option; and
3. Performance (329 mile range/162mph top speed/3.2 seconds for 0-62) – the top-end £56,050 option offers a blistering 3 second 0-62 time.
Should I be leasing an electric car personally or through my business?
For a company car driver, the big changes happen in April 2020, as HMRC have announced that for those using a zero emitting vehicle (from the exhaust) will pay 2% in Benefit in Kind (BiK) so long as the car travels more than 130 miles on a full charge.
This is why alternative fuel vehicles have been more popular with a company, as it offers the driver a cheaper company car tax position.
In the UK, our company car scheme is an emissions-based policy and therefore the more polluting a vehicle is, the higher the cost of tax the driver will pay. Added to this calculation is a vehicle’s P11d (the more expensive the car, the higher the tax) and the fuel type (some diesel vehicles pay a BiK surcharge). Faced with the prospect of some hefty tax bills, company car drivers have moved away from the company car and into the personal car allowance. The latter is an additional sum paid to the driver each month and is offered to them within the salary (and is therefore subject to income tax).
By using a car allowance, the driver avoids company car tax BUT undertakes the responsibility of the car in their personal name (this affects your credit), the servicing and maintenance, the fuel and the insurance.
Whether or not a company car vs car allowance can be answered correctly is often down to the individual’s circumstances.
In addition to the above, the company offering a company car will need to amend their company car policies and approach to driver training. Electric style vehicles, in particular purely electric, offer new challenges to a business and its fleet management. In terms of great advantages, by operating low-emission cars, the company can claim back 100% of the rentals against corporation tax (this applies for any cars emitting less than 111g/km). Corporate image and sustainability is vastly increased with these vehicles and servicing/maintenance costs are reduced; many electric vehicles require very little maintenance work and some are based on long-life servicing (or none at all for the Tesla!). However, there are other considerations, in particular cost and vehicle range.
As ever, a company has to put in place cost-effect automotive solutions and electric cars are currently somewhat more expensive than their combustion engine equivalents. However, residual values are increasing on electric cars and so the contract hire market is offering fairly competitive options.
Where a company might need to invest is in their infrastructure; if a number of employees are procuring electric vehicles will they offer charging points at work? If so, even with any grants, this could be an expensive process.
A 22kW rapid charging solution will cost around £2000 each or a Rapid DC (50kW) will cost circa £10,000-£15,000.
Electric charging for employees doesn’t cost the employee individually (on Benefit in Kind) but it will have a cost impact on the business.
The final reservation (and probably the biggest) is vehicle range – will an electric car be suitable for high-mileage drivers? This is where drivers and businesses get a little nervous.
What happens if my electric car has insufficient charge?
Like a petrol or diesel vehicle, if you don’t have enough fuel, it doesn’t work! The electric vehicles are no different in this regard. The big challenge is how far a vehicle can travel. Unlike a high performing and efficient diesel car which can travel 500-600 miles on a full tank, an electric car will only offer between 200-250 miles on a full charge.
This means preparing for journeys and charging vehicles regularly at both home and work.
For anyone covering more than 20,000 miles per annum, this just might not be the right solution – yet. Battery technology is improving and the move to a 400 mile range isn’t too far off. When vehicles are able to secure this, the notion of “Range Anxiety” becomes a redundant one.
In terms of the car shown here, the Tesla MODEL 3 SALOON Long Range AWD 4dr Auto, this is based on the following configuration:
· Midnight Silver metallic paint
· Premium textile – Black PUR seat
· 18″ Aero wheel
In terms of standard equipment the car offers automatic emergency braking and collision avoidance, internet browsing/WiFi, ESC, mobile telephone preparation, adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering, base autopilot, front and rear parking sensor, lane departure warning system, park assist camera, traffic sign recognition, location aware garage door opener, BLIS, satellite view maps with navigation, 15” touchscreen, auto dimming/folding/heated door mirrors, DAB radio, premium audio with 14 speakers, steering wheel mounted controls, automatic high beam assist, LED headlights/daytime running lights, climate control, tinted glass roof, 12-way power adjustable seats, heated front and rear seats, 60/40 split folding seats, keyless entry, alarm and immobiliser.
In terms of additional equipment – the full self-driving capability is available at £4000 plus Vat or you can make a couple of nice aesthetic improvements like the 19” square alloys and the dash inserts.
On the technical-side, the Long-Range offers a WLTP distance of 300+ miles on a full charge, 358ps and 4.5 seconds 0-62 times. Service intervals are set at every 24 months or 25,000 miles but Tesla are suggesting a move to no servicing on their vehicles!
Any queries just speak to the team at Car-E-Lease UK or access our useful alternative fuel guides at https://www.carlease.uk.com/car-e