Agency boss has exclusive drive in all-new electric Lotus hyper SUV

Southampton businessman and former motoring journalist Lee Peck has had an exclusive extended road test in one of the first Lotus Eletre R hyper SUVs in the south of England.

The all-new Lotus – called a hyper SUV because it’s a 4X4 with an incredible 905bhp – has taken the motoring world by storm with its design, quality and performance, delivering 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, a top speed of 160 mph and an outstanding range of 370 miles.

“The Lotus was absolutely sensational,” said Peck, who loaned the car from Hendy Lotus in Eastleigh.  “It was a real showstopper and attracted admiring looks wherever it went. I think its allure, is in large part, due to the fact that the Lotus name carries such affection with the British public.”

“Not only is the car stunning to look at and fast but as a large SUV it’s a real work horse. It’s comfortable, spacious front and back and has a big boot. The cabin is full of innovations and very easy to use. I particularly liked the 15-inch display screen which, among other things, showed you the surrounding traffic together with pedestrians. It really was like having an extra pair of eyes.”

He added: “Without doubt the Lotus is an extremely tempting prospect if you run your own company. For one thing EVs are exempt from an entry tax as more and more cities are introducing Clean Air Zones (CAZ) like Southampton and Portsmouth and of course London, which is eminently commutable in this long-legged Lotus.” 

“That aside, there’s never been a better time to buy or lease an EV because the extensive range of major tax concessions still have more than 12 months to run. Of course, you’ll need to consult your accountant for the precise details but, by way of example, for the first year of purchase, businesses can claim 100% capital allowances for the cost of a new EV against profits before tax, without any limit on the value of the vehicle. This is a great incentive to use EVs as company cars. 

In addition, while EVs are not exempt from VAT you can still claim back 50% of VAT if the car is for business use only. Similarly, you can claim VAT for charging. Also, for the next 12 months EVs will be completely exempt from road tax or vehicle excise duty as it was previously known.” 

Lee Peck, who runs PR agency Lee Peck Media and was a motoring journalist on the TVS programme, The Road Show, has been leasing electric cars for more than three years and says he’ll never go back to driving petrol or diesel cars. He explained: ““Driving electric is a revelation. James May once said it’s like travelling on a magic carpet. A perfect description. Whoosh – and you’re off! What’s more with a home charger and driving locally, you will never have to visit a service station again. On longer runs it’s simply a matter of planning your route to take in public EV rapid chargers. I favour the InstaVolt network – and not just because they’re a client – but because through long experience I’ve found InstaVolt’s rapid chargers to be the best. They’re fast, extremely reliable and located near amenities like Costa coffee and McDonalds. A quick snack or cuppa, sort a few emails… I recharge the car, recharge myself and I’m on my way. It really couldn’t be easier.”