2023 started with a roar at loveelectric, with the team smashing milestones and preparing exciting new projects ready to launch.
As we move through 2023 and beyond, we’re ready to reposition electric cars from a nice-to-have to a must nationwide. Transitioning from fossil fuels to electric isn’t a perk or benefit: it’s a priority. Reducing our collective carbon footprint – whether as an individual, within our communities or in large organisations – is time critical, and the EV revolution is a big step in that journey. loveelectric was created to support people and businesses to reduce their impact on the world around them – and help employees save big on their monthly EV leases along the way.
So what is loveelectric’s role in this future, and how will we help the UK get there? We sat down with Steve Tigar, loveelectric co-founder and CEO, to hear more about his entrepreneurial journey, how we support our clients’ sustainability journey, and what’s next for loveelectric.
💚 What inspired you to start loveelectric?
I've always been entrepreneurial.
At school, I got my first taste of working with a paper run and realised that I could optimise by delegating the work to my little brother and splitting the proceeds 50-50. Of course, it was a short-lived endeavour before he clocked on: but by then, it didn’t matter – I had caught the business bug. It was the first of many entrepreneurial pursuits throughout my school days.
At university, I came up with product prototypes, new ideas and loved the process. I loved thinking about how to get them off the ground and move into the business world, but the timing was never quite right.
It was while I was in America with the Saltire Foundation it all came together. I completed an entrepreneurial M.B.A. there, building a foundation for my future career. The scholarship gave me a fantastic grounding in starting a company. So, I was excited to return to Edinburgh in 2011 and start a business.
But - as life does - other plans got in the way. Lyndsey, my wife (and co-founder of loveelectric), fell pregnant – so I needed a job. Over the next ten years, I led several businesses, including the largest property letting portal in Scotland and the award-winning money-managing app Money Dashboard. They were all incredible experiences, but the desire to start my own thing never went away.
loveelectric was the first time everything aligned: the opportunity, timing and experience. There has never been a more time-critical moment. Our business model ensures that transitioning to an EV is more affordable and accessible than ever. I’m hardwired to be an entrepreneur, and leading loveelectric is the perfect intersection of my skills, motivation and experience. It’s the right place for me to be.
💚 What do you wish you'd known before starting loveelectric?
Before launching loveelectric, I was fortunate to have benefited from a decade of experience in running two high-growth technology businesses. I wish I’d known the hard and soft leadership skills before taking on the highs and lows of leading these companies – but I was fortunate to have learnt many lessons I needed before founding loveelectric.
More than anything, I learnt that I needed more focus. Now, we are laser-focused on the one thing that really matters in our business: the North Star. Instead of going in lots of different directions without any clear intention, we now build clarity and unite the team. It’s easier to rally your team behind the mission if you lead purposefully with culture and values!
While I feel lucky to have brought the knowledge and lessons I have to loveelectric, there’s still plenty I wish I’d known before starting a business in this industry. Specifically: how slow-moving the automotive industry really is. While we came in as a disruptive digital native, it quickly became clear that picking up the phone, attending industry events, and networking is essential in this business. I’d underestimated the importance of industry habits – something I wish I’d known earlier!
💚 What makes Scotland a great place to start a business?
As a proudly Scottish, Edinburgh-based company, I’m a huge advocate for starting a business in Scotland. I have been actively involved in Edinburgh’s business community for the past decade and have built a fantastic support community with the people, networks and government organisations that operate here.
Edinburgh offers the best of both worlds in high-growth business support and purpose-driven business development. Tech events, including Turing Fest, bring people together to share knowledge, and groups such as Scottish Development International ease the process of expanding internationally – just to name a few. In particular, Scottish Enterprise has been an enormous support throughout my entrepreneurial career, as has the community hub, Codebase.
The launch of Scotland’s Tech Scalers last year has invigorated the country’s focus on developing highly successful, community-focused tech organisations. From its emergence in Mark Logan’s flagship Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review, Tech Scalers lays a framework to bring the entrepreneurial communities across Scotland together to share knowledge and support. Being part of the community as we grow together is what I believe makes Scotland the best place to start and build a business. As a Tech Scaler member, I look forward to getting involved in the community as it grows, offering support and learning from other entrepreneurs.
💚 How does loveelectric stand out from the competition?
Neo-banking had a tremendous impact on the banking industry. New entrants, Starling and Monzo, took a digital-first approach and revolutionised how we bank. We take a similar approach with loveelectric, separating us from our competition.
loveelectric is a disruptor: a neo-broker.
Where competitors rely on the phone, our approach allows us to conduct almost 100% of our business online. loveelectric’s bespoke platform scans the market for the most affordable prices, allowing customers to view the best deals and order a car in minutes. Behind the scenes, our proprietary CRM system manages the complex ordering and invoicing processes.
Not only is this tech-first approach efficient, but it also supports our fantastic service. Within the app, customers find everything they’ll need: service, maintenance, motor insurance, home chargers and early termination protection are all bundled in.
Finally, our B Corp (pending) status sets us apart. We believe businesses should be a force for good. As such, we hold ourselves accountable and to a high standard to deliver on this belief, and we hold ourselves to the high ethical and environmental standards the certification sets.
We are currently working with partners to address the full scope of our carbon footprint. Once we understand this impact, we’ll set to work improving it through behaviour change and carbon offsetting. We are also working with Ecologi to be a climate-positive workforce. This partnership allows us to offset our entire team’s carbon footprint, including their home living, personal travel, holidays, food and hobbies.
However, our sustainability strategy extends beyond our own business: we also actively support our clients on their ESG/CSR journey. Utilising loveelectric’s service positively impacts our clients’ commuting and business travel carbon emissions.
💚 What’re your ambitions for the future?
We’re laser-focused on our mission: to decarbonise UK road transport. We have huge ambitions for improving the environmental and social impact of transportation in the UK – and the first step in that mission is our strong EV salary sacrifice offering.
We’re on an exciting path with clear scope and space to develop over the next ten to twenty years. Salary sacrifice EVs is a fantastic place to start: with our pipeline of business, we expect to be one of the fastest-growing companies in our market in the next few years. The electric market is growing fast, and our approach to leasing is disrupting an already destabilised, antiquated industry. loveelectric is primed to be at the forefront of this modern approach to transport, setting us up to be one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK in the near future.
The opportunities are endless. It’s exciting to think about the role of autonomous vehicles and car sharing in the future transport industry: how this will change how we experience and interact with our roads. Likewise, how businesses structure their car fleets will change quickly in the near future – and loveelectric is well-positioned to provide innovative solutions as the market grows.