Where does your fleet sit on its journey to zero emissions? It’s not surprising that the electric vehicles (EVs) sector is one of the fastest growing in the automotive industry. Many fleets are already reaping the benefits of transitioning to zero emissions and as the speed and scale of EV growth is only expected to increase, it’s important you plan now for tomorrow.
The EV market is evolving
At the time of writing, 24 electric car models are available, of which 45% are under £35,000. Whilst this may be seen as a high list price, part of this cost is recouped through National Insurance and fuel savings, which could be 80% lower than diesel.
The electric van market is less developed but is growing with 10 different models currently available. Most of these are small or car-derived vans, although latest releases have been in the mid-size sector. The number of electric vans is set to increase within the next 12 months. Over the last quarter, one in three company car orders have been for an EV.
Look out for electric variants of larger panel vans such as the Peugeot Boxer, Citroën Relay and Mercedes Sprinter.
Over the last quarter, 1/3 company car orders have been for an EV.
At Zenith, it’s clear to see that the interest in EVs has significantly increased in the last six months, a trend we expect to continue due partly to the favourable tax landscape. EV personal leasing is also on an upward trend, with 30% of new car orders in the last quarter being electric, up from 12% in the quarter before.
The scale of the public charging network is increasing all the time and there are now over 12,000 public charging locations.
Encouragingly, data released by the Department for Transport shows the number of UK rapid charging points, providing up to 200 miles of range in just 20-30 minutes, has increased by 363% over the last five years to over 3,200 units.
This number will continue to grow with the government’s Rapid Charging Fund being used to support the ambition of having 6,000 rapid charge points across England’s motorways and major A roads by 2035.
To show the true value of a low-emitting fleet, it’s important to have access to transparent metrics on how your business is performing, such as:
- driver satisfaction
- lower emissions
- growth in EVs on fleet
With this information, fleet operators can showcase the important role of fleet in achieving sustainability goals.
Promoting EVs – a successful fleet transition
Following the launch of a new company car policy and salary sacrifice scheme promoting EVs in December one of our customers has seen fantastic take-up of electric and low-emitting cars.
Since launch, 82% of salary sacrifice orders have been for fully electric vehicles.
60% of company car orders have been for fully electric vehicles.
Only 13% of orders have been for traditional combustion engine vehicles. In January 2019, 60% of the fleet was diesel and 0% electric, showing a significant shift in the fuel types of their fleet.
EV contribution – everyone’s a winner
An unlimited trade-up policy for electric cars allows employees to take advantage of the low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rate and contribute towards getting a more expensive car that they wouldn’t be able to order under normal policy.
A Zenith customer has recently implemented this policy and has seen significant results. Orders have increased as cash takers opted back into the scheme and on average two thirds of monthly orders have been for EVs, compared with zero EV orders prior to the new policy launch.
There has been a related reduction in emissions with the average CO2 of new car orders being 42 g/km, compared with 110 g/km in 2019.
On average, two thirds of monthly orders have been for EVs.
Average CO2 of new car orders being 42 g/km, compared with 110 g/km in 2019.
The results of promoting an electric policy are evident. In addition to helping fleet operators run a more sustainable fleet, it enhances the benefit of company and all-employee schemes, leading to increased employee satisfaction.
As part of their own sustainability agendas, fleet operators are becoming more aware of the daily travel requirements of each area of their fleet rather than annual travel. This provides useful insight on how quickly the transition to electric can be made.
Historically fleet managers may not have considered EVs as a suitable option for business need drivers, however our analysis shows there is often a significant proportion of this population that carry out the majority of their business travel within the range of a single charge of most popular electric cars.
EVs: the go-to choice
With a move towards the use of web technology for communication and fleet operators looking at mobility requirements holistically, EVs have become a viable option for an even greater proportion of fleet and they should be considered the go-to choice for many drivers as they renew their vehicles.
For a Zenith customer keen to add electric options for their business fleet, this came as a pleasant surprise. Following a review, we found that over one third of their business need drivers carry out at least 95% of their business journeys in under 100 miles. For perk and cash taker populations likely to perform fewer business journeys, suitability is even higher.
On average two thirds of these drivers are able to complete daily journeys within a single charge in an EV with a higher electric range.
The government are very clear about their intentions to move to a zero emissions future, with the recent consultation on ending the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrids by 2035. Although currently postponed, Clean Air Zones will be implemented in various UK cities and are an indicator that fleet operators need to prepare.
The good news is that there are financial incentives out there for companies and drivers, from the plug-in car grant to the 0% BiK rate for EVs.
Overall, there’s an increasing focus for companies to be sustainable. It can improve brand value and reputation, help to attract and retain employees, achieve better growth, bring cost efficiencies and strengthen stakeholder relations.
With exciting new technologies being developed, which promise to cut charging times to minutes and extend range significantly, there has never been a better time to switch your fleet to electric.
Nicola Austin, senior consultancy analyst at Zenith