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BVRLA ups ante on Plug-in Pledge as fleets prove pivotal to decarbonisation

The fleet sector will be responsible for 75% of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on UK roads by 2025 – underscoring just how vital the industry is to road transport decarbonisation.

The BVRLA’s latest Plug-in Pledge shows the fleet sector will be responsible for 75% of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on UK roads by 2025

Announced today (6 October) as the BVRLA holds its Fleets in Charge event, the association’s updated Plug in Pledge shows the rental, leasing and fleet operator sector will own and operate around 900,000 BEVs within five years.

And in terms of sales, by 2025, the vehicle rental, leasing and fleet industry will be registering 400,000 battery electric cars and vans each year. This means it will be responsible for 80% of sales in the UK.

Factor in plug-in hybrid vehicles and in five years’ time, the rental, leasing and fleet industry will be registering nearly 570,000 plug-in cars and vans every year and will own and operate around 1.3 million plug-in vehicles in total.

It’s an impressive update on the association’s previous – and already ambitious – Plug-in Pledge launched two years ago, which said the sector’s combined battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle fleet size would jump from 50,000 to 720,000 by 2025, and that by that time, the industry would be buying 300,000 plug-in vehicles per year.

And it’s been welcomed by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaking at the BVRLA’s event today. Shapps commented: “It’s fantastic that so many BVRLA members are making commitments to introduce zero-emission fleets ahead of the Government’s phase-out target. BVRLA members are fundamental to the transition to cleaner road transport.”

“The transition to zero emissions is accelerating and our latest pledge demonstrates that the fleet sector has its foot on the pedal,” added BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney.

But speaking today, the BVRLA has pointed out that there are three key areas that such uptake needs to be supported in: Attractive tax incentives, including for fleet Benefit-in-Kind taxation, an attractive market for carmakers to operate in, and sufficient charging infrastructure backed by easy access.

These key points were made in the association’s latest Road to Zero Report Card, also published today and providing a traffic-light assessment of the UK’s progress towards its road transport decarbonisation targets.

This year’s report, produced by Ricardo, gives the UK an ‘Amber – Accelerating’ rating, meaning that progress has been made since 2019 and the EV market is approaching parity with that for petrol and diesel vehicles in some respects.

But it warns that positive developments in delivering EV charging infrastructure and strong tax and grant incentives could be undermined if the UK does not maintain its position as an attractive market for global vehicle manufacturers to continue exporting their zero emission cars and vans.

“The destiny of road transport decarbonisation lies in its hands, but it will be shaped by the crucial factors of EV supply, demand and infrastructure. Our latest report shows a gathering momentum, but also points to some key fleet market segments where action is needed,” Keaney stressed.

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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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