One-third of the UK’s fleet managers expect more than 50% of their company car fleets to be electric within five years, according to a new Go Ultra Low survey.
The survey responses revealed fleet managers and decision makers are willing to embrace the electric era, with nine-in-10 fleet managers enjoying the idea of driving and owning an electric company car, and seven-in-10 committing to purchase an EV within the next two years.
The joint government and industry campaign to promote the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) questioned 500 key fleet managers and decision-makers that are responsible for running the full spectrum of vehicle fleets, from a handful of cars to more than one hundred vehicles.
The survey, commissioned in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust, was designed to better understand the existing company fleet mix as well as the key considerations when it comes to purchasing and leasing EVs.
Britain’s fleet sector accounted for 53.3% of last year’s 2.3 million vehicle registrations and is seen as a pivotal player in accelerating EV adoption.
The recently revised changes to benefit-in-kind (BIK) has also resulted in a renewed interest in company car schemes.
While more than half of all managers (53%) questioned predicted an uptake in demand for electric company cars within their organisation, nearly one-third of respondents (32%) were not aware of the newly-announced changes to BIK.
Poppy Welch, head at Go Ultra Low, said: “Today’s research highlights that the government’s benefit-in-kind tax incentives are helping to shift behaviour around company fleets and the car industry is supporting with exciting products.
"There are around 60 electric models now available and most can travel more than 200-miles on a single charge. The decisions fleet managers make about EVs today will be critical in driving mass adoption tomorrow."
According to the survey, the three key factors that inhibit EV adoption amongst fleet managers include the elevated price point of electric vehicles (47%) and their limited range (51%), as well as a lack of charge points (56%). In fact, 40% of respondents had no charging provision at work so were reliant entirely on public infrastructure.
Welch said: “The UK now has more than 31,000 public charge point connectors and an additional 500 charge points are installed each month, but we still hear from businesses that charging infrastructure remains an area of frustration.
"Fleet depots and rental branches often need to negotiate complex terms with landlords, electrical consultants and energy providers to install their own charge points.
“We’re developing a series of fleet-specific initiatives with the help of the Energy Saving Trust, to provide companies with the information and advice they need to make the transition to electric as seamless and cost-effective as possible.”
Initiatives this year have included fleet sustainability workshops across the UK and a webinar series that discusses items from BIK to incentives such as the Workplace Charging Scheme, supporting business, charities and public sector organisations with a financial contribution to the purchase and installation of charge points.
Go Ultra Low and the Energy Saving Trust will also launch a digital Fleet Solutions Pack, helping companies make the switch.
Tim Anderson, group head of transport at Energy Saving Trust, said: “As an industry, as we continue to navigate the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, there has never been a more imperative time to support the drive to mass EV adoption – one that will be both financially and socially advantageous for companies.
"When it comes to recognising the role and value of EVs, fleets are ahead of the curve. The lower benefit-in-kind rates will enable company car drivers to enjoy very low tax rates and accelerate the transition to clean transport. Yet, there remains further efforts to be made.”