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Electric and Smart Vehicles Guide

An overview of electric and smart vehicles that introduces the main technologies available for ultra-low emissions to help businesses invest in low carbon transport and move away from petrol or diesel-fuelled vehicles in a cost- effective way.


More and more businesses are incorporating electric vehicles into their fleets, and readers of this publication may well be intending to do the same. There are a number of advantages to using EVs within your company’s vehicle fleet.


Electric and smart vehicles guide

Published March 2019

The use of ULEVs (Ultra-low emission vehicles) in the UK has been increasing rapidly over the past five years. This has been facilitated by ever improving battery technology, expansion of charging infrastructure, and continued government support. For businesses, however, the switch to ULEVs is driven by seeing real cost savings, while improving service offerings and reducing the environmental impact of their business.

This overview will help you decide if electric vehicles and smart vehicles are suitable for your business and demonstrate best practice to realise the greatest savings from employing this technology. Investing in new technology can also be expensive, so this publication will outline how to build a suitable business case, as well as provide information on existing government incentives for ULEVs.

This 17 page guide is aimed at businesses of all sizes and may be useful for members of staff across your business. It may be particularly useful for fleet managers looking to optimise existing vehicles, finance controllers evaluating cost saving opportunities, or employees looking to purchase their own personal ULEV.

Guide contents:

  • Introduction
  • What are electric vehicles and smart vehicles?
  • Why do electric vehicles make business sense?
    • Financial
    • Operational
    • Environmental
    • Maintenance and safety
  • Understanding if EVs are suitable for your own fleet
    • Charging and range
    • Day-to-day business requirements
    • Staff engagement
    • Ultra-low emissions zones
  • Actions Checklist
  • How to Build a Business Case
    • Whole lifecycle costing
    • Available grants and funding
  • Smart vehicles
    • Telematics
    • Car sharing
  • Best practices for managing your fleet
  • Your next steps


Publication date March 2019; Publication code CTV073.

Information in this report was correct at the time of publication.

Download the guide:

Further information

The Carbon Trust also has the following sector overview publications which may be more relevant to certain sub-sectors:

Energy efficiency support

The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund offers energy efficiency support and energy assessments for small and medium-sized businesses in England, Scotland and Wales.

If you'd like to improve energy efficiency of your organisation, see our services for small to medium enterprises to find out how we can help.

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