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Deploy electric courtesy cars for EV drivers or face major fuel bill, dealers warned

Dealers are being urged to deploy electric courtesy or replacement vehicles for EV drivers or potentially face a £3m fuel and penalty bill.

Analysis by AX Electric suggests that as demand grows for EVs, retailers are facing growing fuel bills for petrol and diesel vehicles loaned to customers

Research by accident aftercare specialist AX Electric show that the EV market share has already reached 7% so far in 2021 and as it continues to grow, there will be a growing number of electric drivers unhappy to step back into a more polluting vehicle.

And the firm reckons that drivers could refuse to pay for fuel and even congestion and emissions zone charges incurred when driving a temporary petrol or diesel car.

The estimated multi-million pound (£2.7m) annual fuel bill could be amplified significantly in 2022 and beyond as the UK embraces greener alternatives to the internal combustion engine.

In a new blog, AX director of sales and operations, Scott Hamilton-Cooper said: “With EVs becoming more affordable and manufacturers launching more than 30 EV models throughout 2021, the EV market is about to grow exponentially.

“With the transition from ICE to EV models comes the incentive of no longer having to pay for fuel. Those who live, or commute, into London or other charging zones save around £15, and then there’s the psychological green feelgood factor, too.”

As a result, AX Electric is expecting to see more demand for its EV service, which provides like-for-like EV replacement vehicles to customers of dealers and insurers in the event of an accident; the service is available to drivers through dealers, fleet customers, insurers, AX’s broker partners and a direct offering for personal customers.

Earlier this week, insurer LV= said its GI-branded bodyshops will start to offer customers who drive petrol or diesel cars the opportunity to drive an EV courtesy car while their car is being repaired.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.

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