Climate charity calls for cheaper EVs for care workers


Climate charity Possible, alongside its partners The Care Workers Charity and think tank New AutoMotive, are calling for the government to establish a social leasing scheme for care workers to access electric vehicles (EVs) at a lower cost.
A report published yesterday (1 April) uses desk research, surveys and focus groups with care workers to explore their unique needs, and policy solutions which will cut costs while cutting carbon emissions. 
In rural and semi-rural areas, care workers cannot realistically do their jobs without a car, and Possible says they are routinely required to drive hundreds of miles and are therefore responsible for high transport emissions.

Izzy Romilly, Possible's sustainable transport campaign manager, said: “Home care workers rely on cars for their essential work - but the costs of owning, maintaining and running a fossil-fuelled car are contributing to the cost of living crisis."

She added that similar schemes have already been introduced in France, where low-income, high-mileage workers could lease an EV for €100 per month, covering the cost of the car as well as insurance and maintenance. 

There are currently 16 million people in the UK that are disabled and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has predicted that there will be three times as many disabled people worldwide by 2050.

The UK’s 900,000 home care workers account for an estimated 4 million miles driven every day, or 1.5 billion miles a year. 

Possible said these drivers are significantly contributing to the UK's overall emissions, especially in the case of private cars. 

The charity's report found that many care workers are spending at least £100 per month on fuel, with some spending up to £150 or more depending on where they live and have to travel to for their clients.

EVs are typically three-and-a-half times cheaper to run than fossil-fuelled cars, depending on the mileage per gallon rate.

Being able to lease an average efficiency EV and charge it at home during off-peak hours could save care workers more than £500 per year on fuel costs for work alone, and up to £997 across all of their driving.

However, due to their low incomes and precarious status as contract workers rather than employees, care workers are typically unable to access affordable finance to enable them to switch to an electric vehicle. 

Possible said that a government-backed social leasing scheme could ease this problem, with the government acting as a guarantor for the people leasing the cars.