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UK fleet interest in electrification rising, Arval reports

Date: 07 July 2020   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Intent from UK businesses to adopt electrified vehicles has increased in the last 12 months, according to leasing company Arval.

In the latest research released from the firm's 2020 Mobility Observatory report, 53% of UK businesses surveyed said they were already running fully electric vehicles or plan to do so in the next three years, compared with 41% when asked the same question in 2019.

For plug-in hybrids, the figures were 63% now against 46% last year, while for conventional hybrids the new figure was 64%, versus 53% in 2019.

Head of Arval's Mobility Observatory in the UK Shaun Sadlier said: "These results show just how much additional impetus now exists behind the adoption of electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hybrids among UK fleets at this moment compared to just 12 months ago. 

"We have been saying for some time that 2020 would very much be the year during which electric power takes off for fleets and these findings show that fleets agree with those sentiments. There has been a very noticeable acceleration."

Sadlier said reasons behind the growth in interest included government incentives and an increase in the number of electrified cars on the market.

He said: "The tax incentives now available for company car drivers, especially the zero per cent benefit-in-kind rate for the 2020-21 tax year for battery electric vehicles, are a huge attraction.

"Also we are in the process of seeing a dramatic expansion in the choice of EVs available, especially among battery electric vehicles. Over the course of this year, the number of models available will go from a handful to dozens, with better representation across all segments and price points.

"Finally, while there is still work to be done, the charging infrastructure across the UK is growing all the time, providing reassurance to drivers and their employers that these vehicles can be used practically on a day-to-day basis."

Sadlier added that he found it interesting that many of Arval's clients now planned to move straight from petrol and diesel cars to battery electric alternatives.

He said: "A couple of years ago, the received wisdom in the market was that both types of hybrid would probably serve as a transitional technology. 

"Instead, the perceived hurdles to battery electric adoption have reduced to a point where they can meet the needs of a wide variety of drivers, while it has become recognised that hybrids and plug-in hybrids have their own applications.

"Indeed, a lot of the work currently being carried out at Arval is helping businesses to create new choice lists that provide drivers with relevant options for all the main types of power."