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88% of UK’s largest fleets expect to order electric car in next 12 months

Britain’s largest car and van fleets are on the cusp of a mass switch over to electrification, driven by wider corporate objectives, a new report finds.

88% of the UK’s largest fleets expect to order an electric car in the next 12 months, the report says

Published by 360 Media Group, the Fleet 250 report looks at the policies, strategies and purchasing behaviours of the country’s 250 largest car and light commercial vehicle fleets, which range in size from 370 to 49,100 vehicles. In total, the fleets surveyed operate a combined fleet of 599,321 vehicles, including 261,370 company cars (about 30% of the UK’s company car parc) and 283,597 LCVs.

The report reveals that 88% of these ‘giant’ fleets expect to order an electric car in the next 12 months, and 71% intend to invest in charge points. The move is being forced by PLC-wide commitments to achieve carbon neutrality despite concerns still over the selection, availability, whole-life costs and range of electric cars and light commercial vehicles. Fleet 250 businesses also highlight the financial challenge of fitting electric vehicles into their existing company car choice bands.

But there is growing fleet confidence that the whole-life costs of battery electric vehicles will prove competitive, particularly for higher-mileage vehicles where power costs per mile are between one quarter and one third of those of petrol and diesel. Fleets are also factoring cheaper service, service and maintenance costs, as well as shorter vehicle downtime during scheduled work, into their cost calculations for electric vehicles.

The research also includes forecasts from CIH Research over the changing shape over the new car market in the next five years, including the disappearance of diesel models from the supermini segment by 2022, and a massive increase in hybrid sales in saloon and executive car segments, up 198% and 286% respectively over the next five years, as company car drivers seize the opportunity to reduce dramatically their Benefit-in-Kind tax bills.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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