As the call for businesses to become more socially responsible rings out through the community, Qbit IT Solutions is once again taking strides towards reducing our carbon footprint through the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), having recently introduced a few of these into our fleet of Qbit company cars.
In this article, we hear from the Account Manager at Qbit, Jaydan Wylds, and his experience with electric vehicles.
I am the first to admit that I have always been a little hesitant and negative when it comes to the suitability of electric cars, particularly given the distance I commute to the office (80km each way), and perhaps because of this, I was lucky enough to be handed the keys to one of our new Qbit MG EV’s. I guess if I could make it work, anyone could.
Little did I know that not only my perspective on the potential of electric cars for business would be challenged, but I am also finding that my driving habits and approach to commuting have changed, and dare I say it, finding myself enjoying the drive to work!
What I initially found a little disconcerting, but now take for granted, is the absence of engine noise. Replacing the traditional roar of a combustion engine is an almost eerie silence. This provides a rather novel experience like you are gliding on the road rather than driving and allows for a better appreciation of my chosen tunes!
At the risk of alarming the Directors, another pleasant surprise has been the seamless acceleration and immediate responsiveness resulting from the absence of gears and instant torque. Seeing the surprised look on the faces of the V8 drivers as you pull away from them in an SUV at the lights has provided no end of enjoyment.
Perhaps my biggest concern was the potential for range anxiety, and having to constantly watch the remaining battery charge, and kilometres left to travel. However, even with the 80km commute each way, by simply incorporating a regular charge at the West Perth Office with a less frequent overnight charge at home into my routine, I find myself watching the battery status less and less and becoming as comfortable as I was knowing that a petrol station was never far away.
In fact, the only problem relating to charging the vehicle has been the need to constantly shuffle the vehicles around the car park to gain access to the charging stations! Subconsciously, it seems my driving habits are also changing as a result of this increased awareness of the need to be a more efficient driver.
Qbit has fitted two chargers to the West Perth Office and will soon be fitting one in Westminster. There are government rebates to help with the cost of fitting these, however, you do need to fit the smart chargers to be eligible. The cost after the rebate is about $1,500.
There are two types of chargers. Firstly, we have AC chargers, which depend on the vehicle’s internal charger. While wall chargers can deliver an output of 22kw, MG vehicles can only handle up to 10kw. These chargers can take the MG’s battery from 35% to 100% within approximately 4 hours.
The second type of AC charger is the one provided with the car, designed to connect to a standard household plug. Overnight charging using these chargers can add around 100 kilometres of range to the vehicle. This is sufficient for any of our staff to put enough charge into the car to get to work.
We rebate our staff on the electricity by using a smart plug that tells us how much they used, and they claim it back once a month. I don’t believe I need to install a charger in my house, and if you do less than 100km a day, even with limited opportunity to charge at work, I don’t believe you will either.
The other type of charger is a DC charger found at charging stations. These do not use the car’s internal charger and therefore are not limited to 10Kw. These can get your car to 80% in under an hour.
Here are some benefits of electric cars for business and some savings we have discovered as a company driving electric cars:
- $2,000 on FBT a year
- $2,500 in Petrol as a trip to work is $1070 cheaper using electricity
- Losing the car two days a year to get a service and the time to get the car to and from the service centre.
- $600 for two services a year, no oil change needed or brake pad changes which is better for the environment
- Time taken to go to the petrol station each week
- $60 a year on Petrol Cards
- The first service is in 40,000k and the cost is fixed at about $300
So approximately $5,000 a year cheaper to run an EV! Buying an electric vehicle for business is a great option and can significantly decrease car expenses as the running cost for an EV is much lower.
As an added bonus, in addition to the lower operating costs for Qbit as a result of fewer maintenance requirements and lower “fuel” expenses, the fact that I am not buying a coffee and donut on my previously regular morning stop at the petrol station, is saving me money too!
Most significantly, my experience this past month has changed my perspective on the suitability of electric cars as company vehicles, and I applaud Qbit for taking the initiative. There are many benefits of electric cars for business and I think it’s an option that all companies should seriously consider.
While there will always be the challenge of providing sufficient charging infrastructure, the benefits for the company, and ultimately the environmental benefits far outweigh any potential concern.
Plus – they are fun to drive!