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ZPN Energy | #INEED 2024 (Part 4)

Richard Devitt (co-founder), introduced Zimbl, based in North Oxfordshire. Zimbl provides Mobility as a service (MaaS) for personal and business use, which constitutes daily or hourly Electric vehicle (EV) rental services and biofuel charging infrastructure.

Richard Devitt began by introducing the importance of time in relation to mobility. Hundreds of years ago, he argued, peasants would have travelled by foot, which would have cost them substantially more time. However, if they were lucky enough to experience upwards social mobility, they may have acquired a horse, which would have saved them substantially more time. Similarly, in the modern age, workers measure their daily commutes by time, not distance. This includes your morning commute to work, or a flight from Heathrow to New York. Simply put, as Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Time Is Money’.

However, there is one significant flaw in this development. We do not use our cars for enough time to justify the amount of money we spend on them. In fact, Devitt argued, our cars are unused for approximately 90% of the time, and in this time, all they do is depreciate. On average, we only use our cars 5% of the time, making them the most expensive asset aside from property, that we hardly use. And we are constantly making payments for them, including finance, tax, fuel and maintenance, which becomes more expensive as the car increases in age. 

Even commercial vehicles are not used enough to justify their expense. In fact, even commercial planes are only used 42% of the time, and business vehicles 42-45% of the time, even when the drivers are regularly swapped out.

And with 1.5 billion cars on UK roads, almost all with internal combustion engines, this is greatly damaging to the environment. 54% of UK households’ carbon emissions come from their vehicles, and 28% of the UK’s carbon emissions as a whole come from road transport. 

Devitt’s answer to this is implementing a MaaS service, using electric vehicles, to reduce cost to the customer, while offering a more environmentally-friendly alternative. Zimbl uses a business to consumer model, renting cars by the hour, or by the day, depending on customer need. Businesses can also opt for a longterm rental option, which allows them to reclaim VAT and return the vehicle after a minimum of six months or swap for a different vehicle.

Zimbl deliver the cars directly to the customer, to ensure that their clients experience the convenience of car ownership, at a greatly reduced cost. With Zimbl, customers only pay for the amount of time they rent the car, making it a cost-effective way to switch to an EV without the costs or longterm contracts required for purchasing. 

Benefit provider for EON and ZPN Energy, EZOO are an electric vehicle (EV) subscription service, based in Glasgow. Hiten Patel, Strategic Partnerships Lead, introduced their new salary sacrifice scheme, which gives employees access to any electric vehicle on the market. 

Hiten Patel began by stating EZOO’s purpose of offering 360 sustainability as an employee benefit. He stressed that for many employees, buying an EV outright is unachievable due to the expense. EZOO, however, can save customers between 30-60% on any electric vehicle on the market, making it the cheapest way for employers and their teams to get an electric vehicle. And unlike a lease, which usually asks for 4 months upfront, at approximately £350 per month, EZOO does not ask for a deposit. The only thing customers are required to do is select a home charger, and EZOO will provide support for arranging and keeping down the cost of EV charger installation.

EZOO are also the only company in the UK to offer a flexible salary sacrifice scheme. While on a traditional salary sacrifice scheme, customers may get more options in terms of specifications such as colour, they will usually be locked into terms of 2, 3 or 4 years. With a flexible salary sacrifice scheme, however, customers can still get any make of new EV, but only have to commit to 1 year at a time, making it a flexible option for customers who have not yet fully committed to using an EV. 

EZOO offer full protection cover for employees in the event that circumstances change after 3 months of use, for example, if they leave their job, are made redundant or dismissed, with no charge for employee in any of these circumstances. In these cases, the car will be paid for by employer. However, if the employee leaves within 3 months of car being delivered, the employee has to pay for the vehicle. Other Salary Sacrifice schemes, on the other hand, will charge employee the full amount if they leave at any time before the end of the contract. 

EZOO also offer a free heat scheme when you subscribe to their service. They are partnered with a company who will survey your home and analyse how green your home is. They will then give recommendations as to how you can make your home more eco friendly - completely free and part of service, even if you don’t take a car.

For businesses, the EZOO service is completely cost neutral. Unlike a company car or cash allowance, which is taxed, with a salary sacrifice scheme, businesses can use the full amount pre-tax. The cost is recuperated from NI savings and VAT. 

EZOO make rolling out the scheme easy for employers - they take care of everything for employee pre and post sale, plus admin and calculated payroll deductions for the company. A member of EZOO will come down to the business, arrange test drive days, liaise with HR, and provide support with any marketing problems or issues.

For a cheaper option, EZOO can also offer second hand cars, as long as they meet EZOOs requirements (i.e. tax deductible) for a cheaper price. 

The current wait time is between just 3 and 6 months wait for most brands. 

Story by ZPN Energy


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