Plug-in hybrids enable fleets in Central Europe to set on the path to E-mobility

Plug-in hybrids are an excellent choice to get started on the path towards our electric future. Offering many of the advantages of battery-electric vehicles but without some of the disadvantages, they have much going for them. That’s no different in Central Europe.

At the moment, the uptake of electric cars is low in Central Europe. In Hungary, 0.29% of the national fleet is electric, compared to a whopping 15.83% in Norway. The numbers are growing, though, and will continue to grow over the next few years.

From a financial point of view, electric cars can certainly make sense. They benefit from tax incentives, even though those are often modest in Central Europe. But, as more affordable models are being added to the market, they are brought within reach of more fleets.

BEVs and PHEVs are also an important tool to meeting CO2 emission targets, particularly useful for companies bound by international car policies.

Growing charging networks

Electric cars have lower running costs and charging them with electricity is typically cheaper than filling up with diesel or petrol (unless you only use fast chargers). Central Europe is making great strides towards rolling out a broad charging network. Poland, for instance, doubled its charging infrastructure in only one year’s time – admittedly, from a low base.

Until charging infrastructure gets more widespread, the case for plug-in hybrids is very strong. In the large cities it is usually fine but making trips in other, more rural areas, you find charging facilities are still sparse. In most Central European countries, tax benefits for PHEVs are in place but they do let you run on petrol (some models also on diesel) if you run out of electric juice. When an infrastructure has not matured yet, the flexibility that a combination of an electric engine and internal combustion engine offer, opens the door to E-mobility for everyone!

However, PHEVs should be charged as often as you can to avoid turning them into a more expensive petrol car. It also helps to try and charge at normal chargers as much as possible, because electricity delivered by fast chargers is far more expensive.

Expertise and profiling

Adding PHEVs to the fleet requires specialist knowledge and expertise. Different markets have different tax incentives and charging infrastructure maturity varies widely, too. Importantly, you need to analyze a driver’s needs and habit to ensure the car matches the driver’s travel behavior and needs Based on usage, costs and range, Business Lease looks at the direct and indirect costs and gives customers substantiated advice.

At Business Lease, dedicated teams understand the ins and outs of E-mobility. They know what incentives are available in each market, what vehicles make most sense for what drivers and they can also connect you with partners to install chargers for reduced tariffs.

Find out more on our website or get in touch with one of our International team members for more information: www.businesslease.com/international

Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises deserve a customized international approach

Small to Medium-sized international enterprises have their own set of expectations and challenges in managing fleets. For an SME, managing a fleet in two or more countries requires a different approach from a fleet in just one country. At Business Lease, they understand that.

“No matter the fleet size, our quality of service is just the same.”

SMEs are sizeable enough to require a professional international approach but small enough that they may slip through the net of leasing companies that cater mainly for large international fleets. But not for Business Lease.

Driver Service Desk

In most cases, SMEs have a strong focus on their core business with less resources available for indirect procurement like fleet management. This makes a close, personal bond with the international leasing company all the more important. Business Lease can really add value in this respect, for example; Driver Service Desks in all markets that can assist clients in anything vehicle related, whether it be a fuel card that’s not working, mileage for a vehicle that’s getting out of hand, an accident or anything else. The Driver Service Desks can always be contacted in the local language or in English.

Policies and processes

But managing a fleet starts with policies and processes. Business Lease International has its own team of experts to assist SMEs, or indeed bigger companies, write and implement policies. On average, SMEs have a stronger mandate to introduce a single leasing company and a single policy across all markets, but it is vital to hit the right level of detail without getting overly specific.

This is where the experience and expertise of Business Lease can really shine: we understand the needs of SMEs and we understand that they look not only at added value in terms of financials but also in terms of flexibility and solutions that may deviate from the default.

Dealer discounts & customized solutions

Multinational companies with large fleets negotiate OEM discounts at the European level, but SMEs don’t have the scale to make that possible. With Business Lease, SMEs get access to our preferred dealer network, bringing within reach discounts and conditions that would generally not apply to a fleet their size. At the same time, the fleet of Business Lease pre-lease cars can come in handy while fleets are waiting for the cars they ordered.

When every fleet has its own requirements, it is increasingly more challenging to find the right powertrain for the practical usage of the vehicle. Personal advice is key to support the fleet manager and the driver to determine the right vehicle. You deserve the support you need, no matter your fleet size.

Business Lease understands the fleet needs of small to medium-sized enterprises and takes them seriously. Find out more on our website or get in touch with one of our International team members for more information: www.businesslease.com/international

Central Europe is getting ready for electric cars, and so should you!

It’s a sign of the times: the no. 1 most leased car brand in CE, Skoda, has announced the launch of Enyaq iV, the first fully-electric business model of Skoda. It is slated to hit the market in late 2020 and it is proof, if proof be needed, that Central Europe is getting ready for plugged-in mobility. But is the required infrastructure available and are governments following with incentives to promote EVs?

Let’s get this out of the way first: the share of electric cars on the roads in Central Europe may be low, but even in the most electrified European markets the numbers still struggle to hit the 5% market share.  Of all cars on the roads today, 0.04% are electric in Poland, 0.56% in the Czech Republic, 0.10% in Slovakia, 0.20% in Hungary and 0.06% in Romania. Download the fact sheet.

Adding EVs to your fleet requires a tailor-made approach. The experts at Business Lease can help you take the steps to order and manage your first battery-electric or hybrid vehicles.

The future is clean mobility

These numbers need to go up and they need to do so relatively fast. The European Commission targets emission cuts in passenger vehicles of 50% by 2030[i] as part of decarbonization of the wider economy. This cannot be achieved without corporate fleets.

Car manufacturers have started churning out plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles in huge numbers and they are no longer limited to premium segments.

Buying EVs

Price is still an obstacle to EV adoption, though. Even a modest Opel Corsa-e has a price tag of just under PLN 130,000 in Poland, compared to just over PLN 50,000 for its petrol-powered sister. Getting fleets to add plug-in hybrid battery-electric vehicles to their offering without tax breaks and other financial incentives is difficult and governments in Central Europe have understood that.

Romania, for instance, put a scheme in place to give grants for buying electric vehicles. Slovakia, for instance, subsidizes plug-in vehicles[ii] and the Czech Republic allows municipalities to apply for subsidies to buy cars with alternative fuels.

More is being done on the tax front, though. All five Central European countries do not levy any motor vehicle tax and/or registration tax with some adding additional benefits like free parking while an EV is being charged.

Charging network in Central Europe

Having an EV is one thing, charging it is another. Charging networks can be sparse in parts of Central Europe, particularly away from motorways and cities, but they are expanding. The Czech Republic already has quite an extensive network and they are still planning further increase as to avoid being stranded with an empty battery in more distance regions from the big cities.

However, surveys have shown that most EV drivers charge their vehicle at home or at the office, indicating that’s where chargers are really essential. Fortunately, prices for EV chargers are going down and Business Lease has partnerships with experienced charger manufacturers in all Central European markets.

Various countries also give grants to refund part of the installation costs. This is the case in Romania, where the government refunds up to € 30,000 if you install a charger of more than 22kW. The Czech Republic and Poland also have incentives for EV chargers.

Business Lease set up a Mobility Expert Team five years ago, as a way to experiment with new mobility solutions together with clients and suppliers. One of its core missions is a focus on alternative mobility sources and CO2 footprint reduction.

Business Lease is a car leasing company operating in the Central European region and located in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Business Lease also operates on an international level and we are happy to provide you with further information on full electric and hybrid cars in your countries.

Get in touch with one of our International team members for more information.

Download the fact sheet  Here