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Go Ultra Low Cities initiatives to have ‘nudge’ effect on fleet EV adoption, says Arval

A government initiative to accelerate electric vehicle take-up is likely to start having a “nudge” effect on fleet vehicle choices.

Electric vehicle on charge

Arval says the Go Ultra Low initiatives provide a ‘nudge’ for fleets and drivers to convert to EVs

So says Arval, as the first Go Ultra Low cities start putting their schemes into effect.

As announced in January this year, the inaugural – Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London – were chosen to share £40m of government funding to encourage EV uptake.

David Watts, fleet consultant at Arval UK, commented: “Some of the ideas being implemented by the Go Ultra Low cities are really interesting. While they are not radical, they are intelligent and provide genuine benefits to EV drivers which are likely to have an effect on fleet decision making.

“The Milton Keynes scheme to make public parking free for EVs, which came into effect in July, is a good example. Anyone who has ever worked in Milton Keynes knows that most of the parking is publically operated and quite expensive, so free parking is a genuine benefit.

“Similarly, the Nottingham and Derby scheme to offer EVs access to bus lanes is something that costs the council little but gives a genuinely useful advantage to EV company car drivers or fleet operators. If you could knock 10 minutes off your commute every day or reduce the travelling time between jobs for commercial drivers, then this is another positive element for those people and organisations that are starting to consider an EV.”

Watts added that the schemes would be one of a number of factors in their favour for fleets and drivers considering EVs.

“We are at a stage where there is widespread interest in EVs but relatively few fleets have bitten the bullet and actually acquired any. However, momentum is building. There is growing awareness of how to operationally manage the limited range of EVs and the circumstances in which they are most appropriate for businesses.

“Vehicles like the Tesla Model S have had an impact on EV perception because of their range. The moment that increased range technology begins to filter down to more mainstream areas of the fleet sector, there are a lot of people who we believe will not hesitate to go EV.

“The Go Ultra Low initiatives are part of this thought process. They provide a ‘nudge’ for fleets and drivers to change their thinking and their behaviour. It will be very interesting to see the degree of effect that they have and we are supporting our customers who operate within those cities to watch for developments.”

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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.