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Kia research reveals conflicting views about new technology

Date: 30 November 2017

A new study from Kia has revealed that two in three fleet managers admit their organisation is nervous about purchasing a petrol or diesel car without an electric powertrain, while 50% are not convinced by current charging infrastructure.

Interviewing 150 Fleet Managers nationwide for its 2017 Fleet Market Attitudes report, the new study focussed on the rise in PHEVs/EVs, autonomy and technology, as well as how upcoming changes in policy are impacting fleet.

By 2022, fleet managers estimate one in three cars in their fleet will have PHEV/EV capabilities, and by 2027 will increase to one in every two cars.

The research also found that Fleet Managers who don't currently have a PHEV/EV within their fleet, believe that they will do so within an average of four years, The reasons behind delayed adoption include, 41% felt that PHEVs/EVs look unprofessional, 35% cited that the UK's charging infrastructure is a barrier and 27% of respondents believe that PHEVs/EVs are too expensive, meanwhile one in five felt that they did not yet understand enough about the technology, showing that more information across the industry is needed. 

When looking at the UK's public charging, 55% of fleet managers agree that the UK's charging infrastructure is not good enough to warrant fully investing into the technology at this time. Conversely, of those that are yet to adopt, they believe that the infrastructure will be better by 2021 - with battery life and charge time improving by the same date.

According to the report, when it comes to fully autonomous vehicles, most fleet managers (93%) see challenges facing this type of driving. Identifying who is liable in the case of an insurance claim (56%) and the cost in updating roads and motorways so that they are compatible (47%) are cited as major concerns. In addition, around three quarters of respondents think that the greatest challenge facing fully-autonomous driving lies in changes to culture - with employees expected to work longer hours while commuting. 

John Hargreaves, head of fleet and remarketing at Kia comments, "As more and more organisations embrace new technologies for the vehicles in their fleets - from EVs/PHEVs to 'assisted driving' and 'semi-automated driving', traditional powertrains are becoming less likely to be considered the default option in fleet purchasing decisions. Organisations that can address and overcome the concerns they have with fully-autonomous driving technology stand to benefit greatly from its adoption."