UK fleets to increase EV spending by 50% in next year
Businesses in the UK are planning to spend £15.8bn on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure over the next 12 months; up 50% on the year to March 2021.
The research, commissioned by Centrica Business Solutions, shows it’s a dramatic increase from the £10.5bn spent by UK firms on EVs and onsite charging points in the previous year. A total of two-fifths (40%) of those questioned said they had increased the total number of EVs within their fleet between April 2020 and March 2021.
The biggest incentive for increased adoption is the need to meet corporate sustainability targets, cited by six in 10 (58%) of businesses. This was followed by reducing operational disruption caused by low- and zero-emission zones (51%) and the attraction of the lower maintenance and whole-life costs offered by EVs (37%).
The increasing investment in EVs means two-thirds (67%) of companies say they are well-prepared to operate a fully electric fleet by 2030 when the Government’s ban on the sale of traditionally fuelled vehicles comes into effect.
But the research also finds that four in 10 (43%) businesses haven’t increased EV numbers over the last year and 10% decreased their EV fleet size. Range anxiety was reported as the chief concern for a third (34%) of these firms, followed by the need to prioritise business investment elsewhere during the height of the coronavirus crisis (32%).
Alongside vehicles, onsite charging is a core focus. Nearly half (46%) of businesses polled plan to install charging points on their premises to facilitate the uptake of EVs across the next 12 months, although more than a third (37%) have already installed this infrastructure.
Businesses are also investing in onsite technology capable of generating the energy to charge their fleet of EVs, such as solar panels; three in 10 (30%) firms have already done so, and almost half (48%) plan to do this in the future.
Greg McKenna, managing director of Centrica Business Solutions, said the research is proof that more businesses are recognising the advantages of adopting low-emission vehicles, especially as they recover from coronavirus and seek to create sustainable growth.
“Now that 2030 is set in stone as the end of new petrol and diesel sales we need to ensure three things to help get us there, sufficient electric vehicles to meet demand, reliable charging infrastructure that’s available to all and a flexible energy system that can deliver green power where it’s needed.”
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean welcomed the findings and said it’s an opportune time for going electric.
“With generous government grants and tax incentives which could save drivers over £2,000 a year, there has never been a better or more exciting time to make the switch.”