UK transition to EVs could be helped by return to company cars
Businesses are being urged to back the Government’s ‘Green Agenda’ by expanding the provision of company electric vehicles to their employees.
The call comes from Drive Software Solutions following last week’s confirmation of the Government’s plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030; a transition that Drive says could be hampered by the cost to the individual car owner.
Due to the cost of switching to EVs, there are concerns motorists will simply hold on to their traditionally powered car for longer, stalling the transition and compounding the pollution effect.
But Drive has highlighted that the transition to EVs would be helped by a return to company cars from current opt-out drivers. It’s estimated that there are some 14 million private cars in the UK used for business purposes: the so-called ‘grey fleet’. However, such vehicles tend to be older and more polluting. The BVRLA estimates that this fleet has an average age of over eight years and that it emits 3.6m tonnes of CO2 per year.
Drive believes that UK drivers are unlikely to migrate to EVs on environmental principals alone and there is a clear risk that the age of the UK’s fleet will simply rise. So it’s calling on companies to step in and provide workers with access to EVs.
In order for companies to be incentivised to do so, the taxation system must be altered to reflect use and not ownership – already on the Government’s agenda. Drive says that the ambitious plans for road user pricing will require systems, either onboard or via app, which allow the tracking of road use by individual drivers or vehicles – which could include its ODO Drive System. In place, these systems could offset the loss of revenue to the Exchequer from the transition to EVs.
Simon West-Oliver, strategic partnership director at Drive Software Solutions, said: “This is a coincidence of needs and wants. The Government needs to drive the green agenda and wants to raise the use of EVs. The car industry needs visibility over demand for EVs and wants to understand how this will be funded. Motorists need to transition from fossil to electricity and want to know that this is economically possible. Companies need to proactively manage the carbon footprint of their vehicles and want to find a solution that makes it easy to manage the transition from combustion engines to EVs and other power trains.
“Crucially, the Treasury needs to maximise tax receipts and wants to ensure that this transition does not compromise this challenge. The nexus between all these needs and wants is a system which allows the orderly migration to green vehicles and the transition to usership rather than ownership.”