Electric vs hybrid company cars

August 02, 2022

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Owning a fleet of company cars is holding companies back from achieving their sustainability goals. And many are turning to electric company cars as a solution.

Electric cars don’t emit carbon into the atmosphere when driven — which gives businesses a simple way to reduce their team’s impact on the environment when travelling for work. 

But investing in a fleet of electric cars comes at a high cost, so it’s worth considering hybrid company cars

This article reveals the best electric and hybrid company cars, all of which offer an efficient, safe, and comfortable route to work. 

And by signing up with Bolt Business, your team can get behind the wheel of the most efficient cars without investing in a new fleet — thanks to Bolt Drive (currently available in Tallinn, Estonia).

Why find an alternative to petrol and diesel company cars?

Company cars are essential for many businesses. Yet the petrol or diesel models that most companies rely on don’t complement their sustainability goals. 

For the 89% of companies who have set building a more sustainable travel policy as a priority, electric company cars can help. And even hybrid company cars will take your fleet in the right direction towards more sustainable business travel. 

By moving away from petrol and diesel vehicles, your business stands to benefit from: 

  • Lower running costs; 
  • A smaller carbon footprint from business travel;
  • Reduced maintenance and repair costs;
  • A boost to employee morale;
  • Possible eligibility for grants and subsidies.

Compared with vehicles that run solely on petrol or diesel, hybrid cars emit fewer grams of carbon from the tailpipe per kilometre. In contrast, tailpipe emissions are non-existent for electric vehicles.

Graph showing the average tailpipe emissions of petrol, diesel, and electric vehicles

Source: European Environment Agency and Toyota

The average carbon emissions of newly registered petrol cars stand at 123.4 grams per kilometre. Diesel cars come in slightly lower at 121.5 grams.

As these vehicles age, emissions increase, whereas an electric vehicle’s tailpipe emissions remain at zero.

How electric and hybrid cars work

Hybrid cars are a closer match to petrol and diesel cars than electric models. This could make them a natural next step for your team when moving away from petrol or diesel. 

Electric cars

Rather than filling a tank with petrol or diesel, electric vehicles have a battery that needs to be recharged. 

Almost all electric vehicles are automatic (there are occasional exceptions to this rule). This means they don’t have a clutch pedal. It may take some getting used to, but all of this makes for a more comfortable driving experience. 

Hybrid cars

There are several types of hybrid vehicles: 

  • Full hybrids;
  • Mild hybrids;
  • Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

Full hybrids

These are the most common hybrid vehicles. They have an engine and a battery — which can power the vehicle on their own or together. 

The engine is a full hybrid’s primary fuel source, but an electric motor allows it to use fuel more economically. They can run 100% on electricity when driving at low speeds or for short distances.

Mild hybrids

These are almost the same as full hybrids, but the engine and electric motor never run alone. 

Mild hybrids, like full hybrids, can’t be plugged into an electric vehicle charger. Instead, the motor is charged by the engine and regenerative braking (when the energy created by braking is stored). 

Plug-in hybrids

A plug-in hybrid is the closest you can get to an electric vehicle. The electric batteries are bigger than those found in full and mild hybrids — giving them more electric range. And they can be charged using an external charger.

It’s possible to drive a plug-in hybrid using only electricity — but only for 40–60 kilometres on average. 

Best electric company cars

The greatest benefit of going electric is that your team can travel without producing emissions — letting your company hit its sustainability targets much sooner.

When comparing electric cars for company use, it’s important to consider: 

  • Range (how far you can drive on a full battery); 
  • Charging time (the time it takes to charge the battery from empty to the full range);
  • Safety ratings (features that keep your team safe while on the road). 

The Audi e-tron S and Volkswagen ID.3 Pro are leading electric company cars.

Audi e-tron S

Charging time is a concern for many when it comes to electric cars. But the Audi e-tron S offers a fast charging time of 26 minutes. 

  • Range: 320 kilometres
  • Charge time (0-320): 9 hours 15 minutes
  • Fast charging time (32-256): 26 minutes
  • Euro NCAP safety rating: 5 stars

A host of features will keep your team safe on the road: 

  • Anti-lock brakes;
  • Stability control that reduces engine power when exceeding handling limits; 
  • Front, side, and overhead airbags;
  • Seatbelts that tighten to keep the driver and passengers safe during a collision;
  • Ignition is disabled unless using the original key. 

Volkswagen ID.3 Pro

A large range of 350 kilometres sees that your team can get to and from long-distance meetings on a single charge.

  • Range: 350 kilometres
  • Charge time (0 to 350km): 6 hours 15 minutes
  • Fast charging time (35 to 280km): 30 minutes
  • Euro NCAP safety rating: 5 stars

The safety features make the ID.3 Pro an excellent option for business travel, especially if your team travels for long periods:

  • Fatigue detection senses when the driver is tired;
  • Adaptive cruise control matches the speed of the car in front;
  • The vehicle automatically brakes if the driver is about to cross paths with a cyclist or pedestrian.

Best electric company van: Volkswagen e-Crafter

Company vans make transporting cargo a simple task. And the Volkswagen e-Crafter is an environmentally-friendly option.

You’ll need to consider everything you would with an electric car (range and charging time) but with the addition of loading space. 

  • Range: 173 kilometres
  • Load: 1.7 tonnes
  • Charge time: 5 hours 20 minutes
  • Fast charge time (up to 80% charge): 45 minutes

Many built-in safety features keep drivers, passengers, and cargo safe: 

  • Lane Assist steers the vehicle for a short time to prevent leaving the lane; 
  • It monitors the traffic behind and alerts the driver of upcoming vehicles;
  • The van assists the driver during strong crosswinds to stay in the lane. 

Best hybrid company cars

The best electric company cars are often more expensive than hybrid alternatives. And while hybrids still produce emissions, it’s significantly lower than full petrol or diesel cars. 

Toyota makes the leading hybrid company cars. Their Yaris, C-HR, and Corolla are full hybrids designed for urban travel — making them ideal for company use within cities. 

Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris has the lowest emissions of the best hybrid company cars compared in this article.

  • CO2 emissions per kilometre: 87g
  • Fuel consumption: 3.8 litres per 100 kilometres

The Toyota Yaris’ safety features include:

  • Advanced collision prevention;
  • Emergency steering assist;
  • Traffic sign monitoring;
  • Adaptive cruise control;
  • Pedestrian detection in the dark.

Bolt Drive hybrid company car

Toyota C-HR

The Toyota C-HR stands out as you drive around the city. If you’re looking to make an impression on a potential client, this is the hybrid for your business.

  • CO2 emissions per kilometre: 110g
  • Fuel consumption: 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres

To keep drivers and passengers safe, the Toyota C-HR:

  • Monitors the blind spot to warn the driver when a vehicle’s there; 
  • Notifies the driver of vehicles approaching from the side;
  • Is fitted with ten airbags as standard. 

Toyota Corolla

Designed for comfortable travel within a city, the Toyota Corolla is ideal for trips to client offices or meeting customers out for lunch.

  • CO2 emissions per kilometre: 103g
  • Fuel consumption: 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres

The Corolla shares many safety features with the C-HR range: 

  • Alerts the driver when the vehicle drifts out of the lane; 
  • Makes the driver aware of vehicles in their blind spot; 
  • Switches off high beams automatically when oncoming vehicles are detected.

Are company cars worthwhile?

Turning to electric or hybrid company cars adds to your company’s green credentials. But transforming your fleet of company cars comes at a cost. 

As well as the upfront costs (which remain high for electric vehicles), there are plenty of additional expenses too: 

  • Insurance; 
  • Maintenance and repairs; 
  • Fuel or charging. 

And if you’re providing your team with electric company cars, you should install charging options at the workplace — increasing costs further. 

Some businesses give their team a car allowance as an alternative to a company car. This allows employees to use their personal vehicles for business travel. But as fuel costs continue to rise, requests will soon come in from employees needing an increase in their allowance.

The same goes for company fuel cards. While they may entitle companies to discounts on fuel, your outgoings can still go up as prices rise.

The dream scenario for your business is to give your team access to a fleet of company cars without any added maintenance, insurance, and running costs. And you can get that with Bolt Business.

Make your fleet more efficient 

Bolt Drive is available to businesses in Tallinn, giving teams access to the best electric and hybrid company cars from €0.09 a minute. This fee covers insurance, maintenance, and fuel. 

As a Bolt Business customer, you can allow certain employees or teams to charge Bolt Drive journeys to the company. This saves your team from filling out expense reports for fuel usage. 

For employees who don’t have a driving licence (or would rather not drive), there’s the choice of a work ride with one of our approved drivers or hopping on an electric scooter or bike. 

Join Bolt Business today to get all the benefits of a fleet without buying.

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