The directors of Advantage Finance, the UK’s leading provider of specialist motor finance products, have made a pledge to offset their carbon emissions by committing to driving electric vehicles as they overhaul their fleet of company cars.
“We are conscious that the cars we currently finance are older, higher mileage, higher emitting vehicles. It is our duty to find ways to offset the consequential carbon footprint of them.”
Graham Wheeler, CEO, Advantage Finance
Since the summer of 2021, Advantage Finance has been on a mission to offset the carbon footprint of the vehicles they currently finance. The first step in doing so has been to encourage all directors and senior management to trade in their company cars for fully electric vehicles.
Graham Wheeler, Chief Executive, Advantage Finance, said: “We are just at the start of this important journey, but we are conscious that the cars we currently finance are older, higher mileage, higher emitting vehicles, and felt that it was our duty to find ways to offset the consequential carbon footprint of them.
“We started to look at how we as a company could find ways to offset the carbon footprint created by our customers. Many of us already drove hybrids, but we saw an opportunity to gradually convert fully to electric vehicles. We signed up to a EV salary sacrifice scheme that gave us the chance to move to EV vehicles.”
The UK Government wants the UK to become a major force in the fast-growing market for electric cars, and has committed to every new car being fully electric by 2030.
Graham believes it’s important that Advantage Finance is seen to be leading from the front in this challenge. He said: “Vehicle manufacturers and governments worldwide are driving a huge change towards EVs being the way we drive our cars. This is not just an ecological necessity, it is also now a commercial necessity – and we feel that all of us must be responsible.”
The sale in the UK of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned by 2030, with manufacturers switching to making electric vehicles.
Graham believes that the government should be focussing on incentives for the replacement of older vehicles rather than newer vehicles. He warned: “That’s where the real problem is. If there is a way to create a pull effect on older cars in terms of desire to change to EV, that will have the benefit of creating much more demand for newer EVs.”
The company currently offers specialist finance for electric vehicles and has completed a number of deals to finance them as the desire and demand for fully electric vehicles begins to increase.
“With more electric vehicles on the market than ever before, it’s important that we understand how to run them ourselves,” Graham enthused. “This is a great chance for the team to learn more about EVs as we start to finance more of them over the next few years.”
This is just the first step in Advantage Finance’s quest to offset the carbon emissions from the cars they finance, and they are looking to set up finance agreements where there is an offset charge built into them. The company would then use this charge to fund tree planting.
The company has also fitted solar panels across the roofs of its buildings in Grimsby to create sufficient electricity to charge the increasing number of electric vehicles outside in the car park.