What are the benefits of driving an electric car in London?

September 09, 2021


Have you ever thought about switching to a zero or ultra-low emission vehicle? If you are still doubting the benefits of having an electric car, this article is for you.

A cleaner living environment

The Mayor of London has a goal to make London’s transport network carbon free by 2050. Additionally, there’s a drive to improve the air quality of London as part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.

Now, on the subject of air quality, it goes without saying — the lower the amount of carbon dioxide coming out of a car’s tailpipe, the cleaner the air is. Less pollution and less smog equal healthier living conditions for everyone.

No Congestion Charge in central London

Certain types of vehicles must pay a fixed amount per day to enter the very centre of the city. But! If you have a pure electric vehicle*, a van or anything else with zero tailpipe emissions, you are exempt from paying the mentioned fee.

Also, from October 25th 2021, the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will extend up to the north and south circular zones. If your car doesn’t meet the ULEZ emissions standards, there is an additional £12.50 daily charge when driving within the ULEZ area. Switching to an electric car means no ULEZ charge! 

*Note that hybrid cars aren’t automatically Congestion Charge exempt. More information on this is available here.

Road tax exemptions

Road tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) as it’s officially known, is calculated based on three things: the CO2 tailpipe emissions of your vehicle, its list price and the year in which it was registered.

The VED for different types of electric cars is as follows:

  • Pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are exempt from VED.
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) pay reduced VED.
  • Any vehicle (including BEVs) with a list price of £40,000 or above will incur an additional premium rate for the first 5 years.

How big is the tax for PHEVs and cars falling under the premium rate? PHEVs are now likely to cost between £10 and £100 for the first year depending on CO2 emissions — and then £140 each year thereafter. For premium rate cars, the tax varies depending on when it was registered

Keep in mind that you still have to tax your car every year, even if it’s exempt! You can do it online or at your nearest Post Office.

Installation of a “home charger”

It’s awesome that our government has thought about how to boost the sales of zero-emission vehicles instead of petrol or diesel cars. But, it doesn’t stop there. 

There’s another grant directly connected to the benefits of owning an electric car! The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) covers up to 75% (up to £350 per installation including VAT) of the cost of installing an electric vehicle charge point at your house, across the whole country! To apply, simply contact an EVHS-approved installer and they will request it on your behalf. You can find the list of EVHS-approved installers on the government website here.

10% commission driving with Bolt in London

Every driver-partner who registered an Electric Vehicle on our platform and drives in London benefits from a 10% commission rate – the lowest commission available across all operators. We even have a special ride-type called Bolt Electric, created for passengers that prefer taking a ride in a zero-emission capable vehicle. Both our driver-partners and our passengers love having eco-friendly options when riding across London.

To sum up: the benefits of owning an electric car

  • Cleaner air for us all — by reducing the amount of pollution we have thanks to the CO2 emissions, we improve the life quality of ourselves and everyone around us.
  • No Congestion Charge! As simple as that.
  • Depending on what you’re driving, you’ll either get an exemption or a discount from road tax.
  • Benefit from 10% commission when driving with Bolt! Unique access to Bolt Electric rides.
  • Driving an electric car provides an enjoyable experience. Our research shows that people in London love having quiet, comfortable eco-friendly options when riding.

If you are not ready to take the plunge yet, you can start with a vehicle leasing service for less commitment. Bolt has partnered with BP offering Bolt drivers an all-in-one package including an electric vehicle, service and maintenance, charging and insurance for a weekly fee. Learn more about our BP offer here

Not a Bolt driver yet?

Whether you’ve already taken a step toward living a greener lifestyle with an electric car or not, we’d be more than happy to see you rolling on the street. All it takes is filling in this form to sign up!

Become a Bolt Driver

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