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Shaun Sadlier's blog: A single fact that shows why EV supply is crucial

Date: 03 January 2020

When I sit down to write these regular blogs for Business Car, I like to have a structured point to make - an idea or observation that can be discussed and developed, leading to an interesting conclusion. 

This piece is a little different. It's what you might call a one fact blog.  

The fact is this: recently, Arval UK was able to secure supply of 250 units of a popular electric vehicle (EV). Now, anyone working in the fleet sector will be able to tell you that this is something of an achievement. Currently, getting hold of any EVs is tough and the more attractive models are like proverbial gold dust. 

And this is the interesting part: the company was able to lease all 250 in fewer than nine days. 

What does this mean? Something fairly simple, I believe. That if you can get the right EVs and deliver them within sensible time frames, there is very considerable pent-up demand.  

What are the driving factors behind this? Well, the new 0% tax rate is certainly one but, just as importantly, there now appears to be a sizeable number of company car drivers who are ready to adopt an EV. They know about the models, they know about the facts of operation and they know about the benefits and the compromises. And they are ready to push the go button and order a car. 

In 2020, several manufacturers will be making available new EVs that, in my opinion, are much more suitable for mainstream fleet use than most current models and a general ramping-up of production has also been promised. With the kind of underlying enthusiasm that is being seen, the EV market at the end of the year could be quite different from today. 

Arval UK is working with many customers on redrawing choice lists to include these vehicles as well as information campaigns to help drivers make the right choice for them. It's an exciting time and a development that the company is enthusiastically supporting.

Shaun Sadlier is head of Arval's Mobility Observatory