Almost 700,000 UK motorists would join the electric vehicle (EV) market, if they were given the opportunity by their employers, according to research revealed at the Go Ultra Low ‘Future of the Car’ Summit, in London.
A survey of UK company car drivers commissioned by Go Ultra Low, a joint Government and automotive industry campaign, found that only 25% of businesses currently offer electric company cars to employees.
Of those motorists who are not currently able to go electric, 69% said they would be ‘likely’ to choose an EV as their next company car, if they were made available. The incidence is higher among companies who do already offer EVs to their employees, with 86% of respondents saying they would be likely to consider an electric car next time around.
In the first 10 months of 2016, more than 30,000 electric cars were registered across the country – with approximately 70% going to UK businesses. Government data shows that 940,000 company cars are currently registered to businesses in the UK – highlighting the significant potential for growth for electric cars.
Transport Minister John Hayes said: “Low-emission vehicles have enormous potential to usher in a new era for road transport, and we have committed £600m over this parliament as part of our plan to making them the natural choice for motorists.
“Businesses have a role to play in boosting the numbers of electric vehicles on our roads, and this survey shows that employees want to drive them. Gradually making fleets zero-emission would improve air quality, as well as helping companies reduce their costs.
“We want to make it easier for companies to adopt these cleaner cars, and recently made £7.5 million available to workplaces who want to install chargepoints.”
Speaking at the Go Ultra Low ‘Future of the Car’ Summit, Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “Fleets and businesses represent the lion’s share of the UK’s new car buyers, so have the potential to shape the market and accelerate the UK automotive market to be entirely ‘ultra-low emission’. As an industry, it is our collective responsibility to give businesses confidence to be bold and realise the multiple benefits that plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars can bring, including cost savings and a carbon footprint reduction.”
Earlier this year, Go Ultra Low established the ‘Go Ultra Low Companies’ initiative, to recognise and reward public and private sector organisations that already offer EVs to employees as company cars.
Since the initiative launched in May, more than 75 organisations have achieved ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status, with Transport for London, University of Cambridge, Britvic and London Fire Brigade among those to have signed up.