What's a ULEV?

An ‘Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle’ (ULEV) is any vehicle that emits less than 75g/km CO2, while to be certified as a “zero emission” vehicle it must have tailpipe emissions of 0g/km CO2. Most manufacturers offer electric and hybrid options which come in many different shapes and sizes.

To help you understand which car is right for you it’s important to understand the 2 main types of ULEVs:

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

Pure electric vehicles that are powered wholly by battery and are zero emissions

Plug in Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV)

Plug-in hybrids combine an electric motor with a combustion engine. Typically the battery range is circa 20-30 miles and then the petrol or diesel engine will kick in when the charge is depleted

No matter what car you need, we have all the information you need to help you make an informed decision when considering a ULEV.


Public Charging

There are more than 25,000 car-charging points across the UK. There are different speeds of charging, including rapid chargers, which, depending on your battery size, take only 30 minutes to charge your car to 80% of its battery capacity. To see every electric vehicle charging station across the UK simply visit zap-map.com. For most public charging points, you will need to download their smartphone app and create an account to use their services although some rapid units are starting to be installed that have contactless PAYG card readers. Many charge points are free to use but there are some that require a small payment for a flat connection fee or a cost per charging time. The majority of fast and rapid chargers require payment. Charging tariffs tend to comprise a flat connection fee, a cost per charging time (pence per hour) and/or a cost per energy consumed (pence per kWh).

Home Charging

Most hybrid or electric cars can be charged simply from a normal 3 pin household plug socket, although charge times will be considerably longer. So for most people it would be more convenient to have a home charging point, if possible, which can typically fully charge your car in 5-7 hours. To get a home charge point installed, you will need off-street parking to avoid trailing cables across public areas. The Government has introduced the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme to help with some of the upfront costs for the purchase and installation of a domestic charging unit. This means that as long as you have primary use of an OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles) approved vehicle, you may be able to receive up to 75% contribution for the total capital cost and installation costs of a domestic charging point (capped at £500).

Why choose a ULEV?

Vehicle Range

Some people are worried about how far they can drive before needing to charge a vehicle. Previously ranges were quite short but most electric vehicles available on the market today can now drive for at least 100 miles, while some newer cars have a range closer to 300 miles (depending on terrain, speed and climate). If you’re unsure about whether you’re ready to make the change to a full electric, hybrid cars are a stepping stone to full electric. Hybrids will always have a much smaller electric range (typically 20-30 miles) but they have a petrol or diesel engine to fall back on when the battery power is running low.


Not only are you helping the environment by choosing a ULEV, you’re also helping your pocket. Charging your car is significantly cheaper than filling up with petrol or diesel and depending on the car you choose you can make significant fuel savings.

Plus, by taking a car on our scheme you benefit from manufacturer discounts and as the monthly amount is taken from your gross salary, you also benefit from income tax and National Insurance savings. Log in to see how much you could save. In addition, where previously there’d be a Benefit in Kind charge (company car tax) to support the green agenda, the government announced in 2019 that pure electric cars would benefit from 0% Benefit in Kind from April 2020 rising 1% each following tax year.

Benefit in Kind

When organisations provide a car as a taxable benefit to their employees, HMRC class it as a Benefit in Kind (BiK). As a result, drivers need to pay a company car tax based on the CO2 emissions, P11d value of the vehicle (list price including options and VAT) and your income tax rate. However, from April 2020, for a pure electric vehicle with zero emissions, drivers will be taxed at 0%, paying no BiK at all. This will then increase to 1% in 2021/22 and 2% in 2022/23.

Hybrid cars that are classed as ULEVs, although don’t receive the 0% BiK rate, do have a much lower rate than a non-ULEV.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many makes and models are there?

The number of makes and models of electric cars is increasing month by month and this trend is set to accelerate over the next year. There are now electric cars in every style of vehicle, from the supermini to large SUVs and high performance cars.

What are electric vehicles like to drive?

One of the first things people notice when driving an electric car is how quiet it is compared to a diesel or petrol. Electric cars also have instant responses when accelerating due to 100% of torque being available at all times. Most EVs have their batteries in the floor, resulting in a low centre of gravity and therefore good handling and smoother driving.

What charging cable comes with my car as standard?

This varies between manufacturers so please check under the options section on the car quoting system. Electric vehicles are normally delivered with one charging cable so if you need an extra cable, simply let us know and we may be able to source these from the dealership and add the cost into your gross salary sacrifice amount. Alternatively you can source them yourself through a dealership or online.

How do I know if I can get a home charge point?

Before an electric charge point can be installed, you'll need to have a home suitability survey. You may also need a suitable data connection, which will be tested by an engineer. The suitability survey will identify if you need any remedial works, like an isolation switch, an earth plate or ground works. These can be arranged but at extra cost and will not be subject to the 75% funding through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.

How long will it take to get an electric charging point?

This will depend on the home suitability survey, availability of assessment appointments and turnaround of paperwork. We’d advise starting the above process as early as possible once you’ve ordered your car.

Why choose a ULEV on the Car Benefit Scheme?

Choosing an electric or an ultra low emission car on a salary sacrifice scheme allows employees to make income tax and National Insurance savings as the monthly amount is taken from gross salary. Tax changes from 2020/21 are also designed to provide further incentives to employees to choose electric vehicles as company cars and salary sacrifice cars. Benefit in Kind will be 0% on pure electric vehicles in 2020-21 and lower new bands for cars below 75g/ km have also been introduced which lower the company car tax due.

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