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Larger fleets at vanguard of shift to low-emission vehicles

Larger employers are overwhelmingly leading the way when it comes to adoption of new fuel technologies, indicating that more effort needs to be made to educate SMEs on the benefits of these newer vehicles.

The research shows larger organisations are leading the way in the adoption of newer fuel options

Although research by Arval has shown an overall total of 34% fleet and mobility managers say they’ve implemented hybrids, plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles on their fleet, this rises to 78% of businesses with more than 1,000 employees, compared to 46% by those with 100-999 employees, 22% of 10-99 employees and 5% with fewer than 10 employees.

In total, 25% of organisations are using or plan to use hybrids, 22% plug-in hybrids and 16% electric vehicles. And again, there are huge differences based on company size.

Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said the fact that larger organisations are leading the way in the adoption of newer fuel options is unsurprising and that it’s the result of bigger firms’ corporate social responsibility targets and a more structured approach to their fleet.

However, he warned: “Bearing in mind that a substantial part of the company car parc is operated by fleets at the smaller end of the spectrum, it perhaps indicates that special efforts need to be made across the fleet sector to educate them about the benefits of these newer vehicles.”

The findings come from the 2019 edition of Arval Mobility Observatory, which covers 3,930 fleets and also shows that the UK is among the leaders in adoption of alternative fuels among the 16 European countries covered by the study, trailing only the Netherlands, with Switzerland in third place, Switzerland in fourth and Belgium in fifth.

Sadlier added: “The UK fleet sector is probably the most developed in Europe and we do tend to be a pioneer in new areas. The shift to a more diverse energy mix is an important development and the work that is being done here is often subsequently being adopted by Arval in other countries.”

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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.