At Octopus Electric Vehicles we’re super excited to announce the launch of Electric Dreams - our very own 100% Electric Salary Sacrifice service!
The Electric Dreams scheme enables employees to make significant savings on their monthly car costs while making the switch to a brand new electric vehicle (EV). Just like a Cycle-to-Work scheme, Electric Dreams allows employees to get the use of an EV in return for sacrificing some of their gross salary, unlocking savings on both national insurance and income tax. Plus, the scheme has been designed to be as simple as possible for an employer: low hassle and zero cost to set up, with minimal admin and risk to run - so that employers can easily offer their staff a highly valuable benefit whilst also doing their bit for the planet! With all of these benefits, James McMaster, CEO at Huel, one of the companies already taking advantage of Electric Dreams, said that ‘the programme is one that feels too good to be true - but it certainly is true!’.
In the last few years the high company car tax rates for petrol and diesel cars (typically 25-35%) have made company cars generally unattractive. However, in the case of electric cars the government set these company car tax rates, also known as Benefit in Kind (BiK) rates, at just 1% for this tax year (2021/22) and increasing to just 2% over the next three years - making EV salary sacrifice really attractive- if you want to find out more about the scheme click here.
Every vehicle taken on the Electric Dreams scheme is 100% electric which significantly reduces overall carbon emissions from vehicles, as well as tackles local air pollution. The UK government has set ambitious climate goals and tackling emissions from transport is critical. Major manufacturers are launching fantastic EVs, with now over 30 models available from well known brands such as Volkswgen, Audi, Mercedes or Hyundai, as well as pioneers like Tesla. In fact, we’re already seeing a huge shift, with pure battery electric vehicle registrations increasing by 186% in 2020 vs. 2019.
The benefits of the Electric Dreams scheme are perfectly encapsulated by Dally Purewal, who heads up Cooperative Flexible Benefits, part of The Midcounties Cooperative. Dally notes that:
‘Not only are there huge savings of up to 45%, which makes it affordable for most households, but there is a great range of vehicles with high performance levels to choose from.
‘As we are becoming a nation which is more and more eco-conscious, this scheme satisfies the conscience and gives the employee a sense of wellbeing that they are making a low carbon choice that positively impacts on the environment and future generations to come. From an employer’s perspective, it truly endorses their Social Responsibility agenda and adds credibility to a rewards package that in return gives loyal, engaged and motivated employees, and reduces employee turnover’.
The team at Octopus not only work hard to make it simple for the employer - but also for the employees that are making the switch. Our EV experts are independent and impartial, and can help the employees discover the cars and how they might charge at home, work or on the go.
Example home energy tariffs include Octopus Go, which offers 4 hours of electricity at just 5p/kWh every night - around a third of a typical standard variable tariff rate, making fuelling an EV about 90% cheaper than it’s petrol or diesel equivalent; or Octopus Agile, which has dynamic pricing that reflects the wholesale market price of electricity. This pricing is calculated in 30min slots using a standard methodology, and is released the day ahead. The rate can even go negative when there is an excess of renewable energy on the grid, and drivers are paid to charge their cars. A popular smart home charger is the Ohme wall charger, installed by the Octopus Energy Service team. Smart charging with Ohme enables you to sync your charging with the cheapest hours of the day automatically - without having to check when that time is and then plug in when the low rate kicks in - you just let the Ohme app know how much charge you want and by when, and then it optimises it all for you.
We’re delighted to say that drivers who order an EV on an Electric Dreams scheme before July 2021 will also receive an Ohme wall charger*, installed by our sister company Octopus Energy Services, free of charge, plus 8,000 free miles** of off-peak green electricity on Octopus Go if they are an Octopus Energy customer too - enough for an average UK driver to drive for free for a year!
David Watson, founder of Ohme and one of the guests at our live launch for Electric Dreams, expressed his excitement over the partnership between Octopus Electric Vehicles and Ohme, saying that:
“Ohme are thrilled to be working with Octopus Electric Vehicles as the company’s charging partner. Smart charging technologies such as Ohme’s bring down the cost and complexity of electric vehicle ownership. When used in tandem with incentive schemes like Electric Dreams, the barriers to EV adoption for the average driver come tumbling down. These developments represent a huge step towards a greener, more sustainable future in the UK.”
And if you don’t have off-street parking - well, don’t worry. There are now over 14,000 locations where you can charge up your car. The best place to check out your local charge points is on www.zap-map.com. There are a number of networks however, so do speak to our experts before you get your car about how to plan your charging and longer journeys. Also, the team at Octopus Energy has partnered up with a number of excellent charging networks across the UK to make it even more simple with a single card (and soon to come App) to activate the charge points, and to consolidate the payments onto a single bill - called the Electric Juice Network.
On top of all of this, the Electric Dreams scheme includes a plethora of other vehicle services, including market leading breakdown recovery through the AA. Edmund King OBE, AA President, highlights the importance of this partnership:
“Initiatives that encourage the take-up of electric vehicles are essential and drivers need the confidence to make the switch. Many people aren’t aware of salary sacrifice initiatives but they can dramatically bring down costs and ultimately should increase demand. We are thrilled to be partnering with Octopus Electric Vehicles to help unlock this market by providing unbeatable breakdown and recovery support – just one of the ways we’re transforming our customer service to help accelerate the shift to electric vehicles.”
Electric Dreams offers the opportunity for businesses and their employees to join the electric revolution - highlighting their commitment to cleaning up local air pollution and doing their bit to fight climate change, as well as giving employees a fantastic benefit. With charging infrastructure constantly expanding, and a landslide shift from manufacturers to switch over to electric vehicles, our roads are going to transform quicker than many people imagine.
To find out more about how you can get involved be sure to check out our Salary Sacrifice page, where you can read a bit more about what the scheme has to offer, sign up to access our sample quote tool, or simply book in a consultation with one of our experts.
*covers the cost of us installing an Ohme wall charger, assuming a standard installation and OZEV grant. If the customer doesn't meet those requirements, they will need to pay the difference
**requires home electricity to be powered by the Octopus Go tariff; free miles based on off-peak charging at 5p/kWh and an efficiency of 4 miles per kWh.