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Fleet appetite for EVs curtailed by charging concerns

The fleet industry has a “strong desire” to switch to alternative fuels but is being hampered by a lack of financial incentives and charging infrastructure.

Under new Ofgem proposals, EV charging at off-peak could be incentivised to reduce demand and cost, as well as the need to upgrade the grid

The AA said inadequate infrastructure outside of urbanised areas was holding back widespread adoption of electric vehicles among fleets

So said the AA at a recent FTA Future Logistics Expo in Warwickshire as it urged the Government to take a lead on providing favourable conditions for alternatively fuelled vehicle uptake.

“Even though alternative fuels are in their infancy, there is a strong desire to embrace them,” said Richard Foster, commercial assistance manager at the AA. “The Government now needs to create the right environment to help them flourish. Fleets want to play their part in making environmental improvements within their sector, embracing new technology, and working with manufacturers to help clean up our air but none of this can be done in isolation. A clear steer on government policy, the provision of financial incentives that help fleets switch to clean vehicles, and cooperation from other industries will all improve our air quality.”

The findings come as the AA announced a new Fuel Assist service for hydrogen cars, and build on BT Fleet Solutions’ recently published 2018/19 Operational Fleet Insight Report. Now in its third year and published, once again, with the AA, the report sought the opinions of 505 key fleet decision makers on how businesses are responding to the latest fleet challenges.

The research on alternatively fuelled vehicles identified a 19% expected increase in the number of fleet managers using electric vehicles in five years’ time. However, to encourage take-up of alternative fuels and achieve the common goal of cleaner air, fleets would like to see further government incentives – 86% believe monetary incentives or grants would have a positive impact on the uptake of alternatively-fuelled vehicles. Fleets would also like to see further investment in charging/refuelling infrastructure, and more effective collaboration between government, trade bodies, manufacturers and the fleet industry.

To download a copy of the Operational Fleet Insight Report, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

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.