ElectraLink operates the data hub that underpins the UK energy market, which means we get involved with many industry projects supporting energy efficiency and low carbon technology to benefit people and the planet. Not only do we work on projects that support Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption in the UK, but we also support our employees in accessing EVs so we can play our part in moving towards a net zero future.
As part of ElectraLink’s benefits package, we have partnered with Octopus Electric Vehicles to offer a salary-sacrifice EV scheme. This scheme provides a full EV package including installation of a home charger, insurance, servicing and maintenance, while providing access to a number of tax and personal benefits savings. We recently sat down with our Head of Operations, Angelo Fitzhenry, to learn about his experience with the scheme and whether he would recommend it to others.
What first attracted you to the scheme?
“The financial benefits of the scheme were the main attraction for me – the salary sacrifice element of paying before tax and national insurance contributions was a huge appeal. I sat down and did the sums of whether we’d save money keeping our existing vehicle or by replacing with a new EV. In comparison to our diesel car that we’d had for 10 years, we calculated we would save an average of £3000 a year by getting an EV through the scheme, so it was a no brainer.
“Plus, I think it’s important to play your part and contribute to net zero – many people would love an EV but can’t afford to get one as the upfront costs are quite high, so the fact that we have easy access through ElectraLink that is very affordable and has no upfront payments or deposit made it a very easy decision.”
What made you choose the EV you selected in the end, the Tesla Y?
“My daughter lives in Leeds, so we often travel there on weekends, and it was key that whichever vehicle we chose could do that nearly 200-mile journey without having to recharge. We’re used to driving that journey in three hours without a stop and didn’t want to change that habit, so the fact that some of the vehicles available could do that distance made it easier to narrow down.”
And how was your experience with Octopus?
“The installation process with Octopus was really simple. They had me fill in a questionnaire for requirements for wiring, which I found straightforward as I’m a qualified electrician, but people without that technical background may find some of the questions difficult to answer. I provided some photographs and got an appointment for my charger installation quite quickly, and the chap was good on the day, so overall nothing but good things.”
What are your overall thoughts on the EV scheme?
“Overall, I’m very glad we did it; all the cost savings are there and we’ve been able to do long drives with no issues. It’s funny, because my wife was a bit reluctant to give up the old car and was a bit wary, but she’s a complete convert to the Tesla now, she loves it. The transition is strange for a few days because it does drive differently to a petrol or diesel car, but you adapt very quickly, and the technology is really impressive. All about embracing change! You feel like you’re at the cutting edge of the future.
“I would totally recommend the EV scheme to others in the company. One thing that may put you off if you’re signing up for a three or four-year deal is that it only stays if you’re an ElectraLink employee. You would have to give it back if you were to leave the company, but for me as someone who’s been at ElectraLink for over six years now, that’s not an issue. It’s a great thing to do to reduce your carbon footprint and playing our part in helping to make the world a better place.”