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Quarter of SMEs in process of switching to EVs

Adoption of electric vehicles is fast-becoming a priority for small to medium-sized businesses and around a quarter (23%) have already started to make the switch.

The vast majority (94%) of SME business owners believe UK businesses running fleets have a responsibility to change them to EVs as soon as possible

The research – carried out by Cambridge & Counties Bank as it launches dedicated lending products for EVs – finds that the vast majority (94%) of SME business owners believe UK businesses running fleets have a responsibility to change them to electric vehicles (EVs) as soon as possible, with almost half (46%) believing this should be a priority.

Its survey of 100 senior decision-makers at SMEs found that around a quarter (23%) of respondents said they were already in the process of switching to EVs, while a third (35%) said they are aiming to start the process in the future. Around a fifth (19%) said they will only do so at a time when the vehicles need upgrading and just 3% said they have no plans at all to switch.

Previous research within the fleet sector has previously indicated that EVs were not so much a priority among smaller businesses but the new analysis shows a changing sentiment.

The bank’s study found that, of the SMEs surveyed, 93% utilise vehicles in some form and of this number one in 10 (11%) already have a fleet consisting of a majority of electric vehicles. A further 77% expect to make the switch in the future.

In addition, over two-thirds (68%) of survey respondents “wholeheartedly” agree with the Government’s 2030 petrol and diesel new car/van ban, with 28% believing that it should be moved forward to 2025 and only 3% believing it should be moved back due to it being overly optimistic.

To support UK businesses and SMEs in the transition to EVs, Cambridge & Counties Bank now includes lending against electric vehicles as part of its green lending strategy and product suite. The bank has rolled out a dedicated campaign to support this initiative for UK businesses looking to move to EVs. This includes no upfront fees, no document fees, deferred VAT payments, and payments deferred for the first three months.

Simon Hilyer, senior business development manager at Cambridge & Counties Bank, said: “Following strong uptake in EVs across the past few years, 2021 will likely see continued and profound market growth in the UK, whether in terms of cars, vans, fleets or larger vehicles, particularly as tax and political considerations fuel demand and manufacturers themselves focus production on EVs. Through our dedicated lending products and recognition of EVs as a new asset class, we are here to help UK businesses capitalise on this shift in the most cost effective and straightforward way.

“Our research has clearly shown that UK businesses are keen and ready to make this transition and Cambridge & Counties Bank is very well positioned to cater for this demand.”

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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.