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UK businesses plan 50% increase in electric fleet spending

Date: 06 May 2021   |   Author: Sean Keywood

A 50% spending increase on fleet electrification is planned by UK businesses over the next year, according to research by Centrica Business Solutions.

It found that a total of £15.8 billion is set to be invested in EVs and charging points, compared with £10.5 billion in the year to March 2021.

In addition, 67% of companies surveyed said they were well placed to be ready for the UK Government's planned ban on new petrol and diesel car sales by 2030.

The survey found 40% of those questioned had increased the number of EVs on their fleet over the previous year, with 58% of those naming a need to meet corporate sustainability targets as a motivation, while 51% cited low- and zero-emission zones and 37% named SMR and whole-life cost advantages.

However, 43% of businesses had not taken on more EVs, and 10% had actually shrunk their EV fleet, with range anxiety blamed by 34% of those firms, followed by a need to invest elsewhere during the Covid-19 pandemic (32%).

The survey found 47% of businesses planned to install charging points over the next 12 months, although 37% had already installed this infrastructure. In addition, 30% of firms had already invested in on-site power generation technology, such as solar panels, while 48% planned to do this in the future.

Centrica Business Solutions managing director Greg McKenna said: "Despite the disruption of the past year, it's encouraging to see investment in EVs remain a key priority for many businesses. 

"The fact that firms are planning to increase their spending so dramatically over the next 12 months is proof that more businesses are recognising the advantages of adopting low-emission vehicles, especially as they recover from coronavirus and seek to create sustainable growth.

"Now that 2030 is set in stone as the end of new petrol and diesel sales we need to ensure three things to help get us there - sufficient electric vehicles to meet demand, reliable charging infrastructure that's available to all, and a flexible energy system that can deliver green power where it's needed."

Reacting to Centrica's research, UK Government transport minister Rachel Maclean said: "As we accelerate towards our net-zero future, I'm delighted to see UK firms at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution.

"With British businesses set to increase their investment in electric vehicles by 50%, the message is clear - the future is electric. With generous government grants and tax incentives which could save drivers over £2,000 a year, there has never been a better or more exciting time to make the switch."