For the lowest possible tax bill, you need to choose an electric company car
When it comes to crunching the numbers and keeping both drivers and fleet managers happy, electric cars are company car kings. Thanks to a rock-bottom, blanket benefit-in-kind rating of just 1%, many of these machines can leave their users with an annual tax bill that’ll cost less than a tank of fuel in the average supermini.
So if you can get an EV to fit seamlessly into your business and personal life, then having one as a perk of the job really is a no-brainer. Yes, some of the more exotic models will require a very generous employer, but there are mainstream models galore that will be much more palatable to the suits in accounts.
So here, in no particular order (well alphabetical), are our top 10 electric company cars.
Ford took its time launching its first EV, but in many respects, the wait was worth it. Of course, purists are up in arms about the use of the legendary Mustang name for a battery-powered SUV, but the Mach-E lives up to the tag in terms of performance, and its ride and handling aren’t bad for such a tall and heavy machine. There are 68kWh and 88kWh battery options, with the latter combining with a 285bhp motor driving the rear wheels to deliver a claimed 379 miles – more than enough for most long-haul business meetings. In fact, it’s this Extended Range specification that makes the most sense for user-choosers because it’s one of the most cost effective thanks to its 2% BiK rating, resulting in a £203 tax bill for lower-rate earners.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 – Ioniq 5 73kWh Premium RWD
Few cars have managed to shake up the established order quite as much as the eye-catching Ioniq 5. With angular exterior treatment and a spacious interior that clearly takes its cues from minimalist loft living, the Korean machine has put the frighteners on premium rivals. What’s more, the all-electric Ioniq 5 backs it up with a compelling driving experience that melds engaging handling and effortless electric performance with a cosseting ride and superb refinement. Oh, and in top 73kWh battery guise, it’ll crack a claimed 315 miles on charge. For business users, it’ll be the 2% BIK that catches their eye, with tax bills as low as £157 for the 58kWh model. However, we’d sacrifice another twenty-odd quid for that larger battery in 222bhp rear-wheel-drive Premium trim.
One of our favourite EVs, the Jaguar I-Pace stole a march on established rivals when it beat them all to the EV punch. Not only was it the first upmarket all-electric SUV, but it was and is also one of the best, particularly from behind the wheel. Despite its high-riding stance, the I-Pace handles with the agility and involvement of something half its size, while its muscular twin-motor set-up channels 395bhp through all four wheels for rapid acceleration. It’s also beautifully finished and spacious inside, with the latest Pivi Pro infotainment keeping you connected on the move. Better still, it’ll crack 292 miles on a charge, while as a company car, it’ll cost higher-rate earners as little as £530 in tax. That said, we’d probably ‘splash out’ on £568 for the more lavishly equipped SE.
BMW i4 – i4 eDrive40
If the thought of a new-fangled and futuristic EV is a little off-putting but you love the idea of the tax savings, then the BMW i4 could be just the ticket. Spun off of the same CLAR platform as conventional 3 Series and 4 Series models, this sleek and handsome all-electric upmarket hatchback looks and drives just like the brand’s ICE products. Well, that’s not completely true, because with its near silent, rear-mounted 335bhp motor the i4 delivers seamless and muscular acceleration, yet can manage a claimed 367 miles on a charge. It handles with all the poise and precision you’d expect, plus doesn’t shout about its eco-credentials in the same way as, say, a Tesla. Yet you still get the tax breaks of its more ostentatious rivals, with higher rate earners facing a reasonable £427 annual bill.
For most thrusting executives looking for a set of business wheels to impress, a large SUV with a Mercedes badge should do the trick nicely. The EQC is the German firm’s first crack at an EV and it’s a strong debut effort. With soft air suspension and hushed refinement, it’s more for cruising than carving out shapes on a twisting back road, yet there’s enough poise and grip for when you want to go hard and its twin-motor layout serves up a respectable 402bhp. It’s also spacious and packs one of the most alluring interiors in the business. You’ll need an understanding fleet manager to stump up the £72,335 for the entry-level Sport, but with its BIK of 2%, even higher-rate earners will be facing a nominal tax bill of only £578.
MG4 – MG 4 Trophy Long Range
Here’s proof that you don’t have spend big to secure a stylish and entertaining company car. Proving to be something a of a surprise, the MG4 takes the value-for-money proposition of the brand’s other cars and weaves in some genuine driver appeal and a dash of company car park kudos. The angular lines attract attention, while the handling strikes a fine balance between agility and everyday comfort. The range-topping Trophy also manages to deliver warm hatch pace courtesy of its rear-mounted 201bhp motor, plus an impressive claimed range of 281 miles from its 64kWh battery. Even in this flagship guise the MG costs £31,495, which combined with a 2% BiK rating means lower rate earners sacrifice just £126 a year in tax.
Porsche Taycan – Taycan
If you want to have the rest of the corporate car park green with envy, look no further than this Porsche. Arguably the best EV currently available, the Taycan is every bit as brilliant to drive as the firm’s combustion-engined offerings, yet for company directors looking to save a packet in tax, it’s also as cost-effective as a supermini. Like all EVs, it’s rated at 2%, which means even the outrageously fast 751bhp Turbo S will cost higher-rate taxpayers back just £1140 in salary sacrifice. (For a Panamera Turbo S, they’d face a £20,928 bill!) For most people, the standard 402bhp Taycan (£604 for higher-rate tax) will be just the ticket, especially as with the optional Performance Battery Plus, it’s claimed to do 301 miles on a single charge.
Underpinned by the same bespoke MEB EV architecture as the Volkswagen ID 3, but with a typically Skoda twist of providing more space for less cash, the Enyaq is one of our favourite electric cars. It’s not a born entertainer, but it’s extremely easy-going, with excellent refinement, a controlled ride and an interior that surpasses those of its more expensive VW and Audi siblings for upmarket appeal. There’s a choice of 58kWh (badged 60) and 77kWh (80) batteries, with the former being the most cost-effective for business users. Yet all are rated at 2%, so even the pricier 80 will cost a lower-rate taxpayer just £170, yet it will deliver a claimed range of 338 miles.
Tesla Model S – Model S Long Range
Tesla’s current success in the UK can be partly attributed to the Model S’s success as a popular choice with well-heeled user-choosers. Back when fully electric cars were zero rated for tax and the American machine was priced at the same level as a generously specified BMW 5 Series, the Tesla was a no-brainer for those who could live with an EV. An increase in BIK taxes (and then a reduction to the current 2% rate) and the ever-increasing price of the Model S have meant it’s not quite as attractive now, but if your company can stomach the £95,980 price of the entry-level model, then you’ll get a car that costs a higher-rate earner just £767 in tax yet is capable of 405 miles on a charge. Neck-snapping acceleration aside, it’s rather one-dimensional dynamically, but it’s roomy and relaxing and now has a far more tightly built interior with its massive, 17.0in infotainment screen.
Tesla Model 3 – Model 3 Long Range
The Model 3’s rise to become one of the UK’s best-selling cars has been rapid and partly fuelled by its success as a first choice motor for corporate go-getters. Taking over where the Model S left off, the less pricey model mixes the same compelling blend of performance and long range with a similarly spacious and tech-laden interior. Yet it also throws in some genuine driver engagement, feeling far more alert and up for a laugh than any of the brand’s other models. The line-up is simple, with the standard RWD model at one end and the 449bhp variant at the other. The four-wheel-drive Long Range provides the sweet spot, being almost as fast yet capable of 374 miles on a charge, and landing standard-rate earners with a BIK bill of just £230.