As the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans looms, industry research has found that almost a third of fleets are falling behind in the EV transition and aren’t on track to make the switch.
While research has found that the transition for many fleets is underway, 29% of businesses state that half or less of their company car fleets will be EVs by 2027, Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) Fleet said.
These organisations are at risk of a sudden and significant transition to electric when the 2030 ban on internal combustion engines (ICE) comes in just a few years later, VWFS said. This could leave them struggling with driver adoption and acceptance, adapting their existing policies to include EVs, and most significantly, workplace charging infrastructure and public charging strategies.
The fleet industry accounts for around 1.5 million cars and vans on the road at any one time. Replacing these with EVs will significantly help towards the Government target of 23 million light-duty vehicles to be battery-powered by 2032, VWFS said.
Fleets play a crucial role in the journey to net-zero, with the transport sector accounting for over 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions. By driving EV adoption across their fleets, businesses can significantly reduce their Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions. Organisations that further encourage EV adoption across their wider business (by offering a Salary Sacrifice scheme to their employees for example) and within their supply chain, can achieve emission reductions in Scope 3 as well. In 2021, fleet and business registrations accounted for more than half of new car orders, and the BRVLA has estimated that 10.5 million vehicles are part of the grey fleet.
“While it’s great to see that many organisations are making real progress with their EV transition, there’s a concerning number of businesses that are at risk of being left behind that we need to support,” said Emma Loveday, Senior Fleet Consultant at VWFS Fleet.
The Senior Fleet Consultant said that undertaking a sudden switch can lead to problems with vehicle utilisation if the charging strategy isn’t thoroughly thought-out or issues with driver engagement and acceptance if they haven’t been suitably supported with a switch to EVs.
Around a fifth of respondents said EVs are too expensive for them to acquire, and many flagged their uncertainty around the UK’s charging infrastructure, according to the release.
“Utilising consultancy can help organisations with their roadmap for EV transition – including key considerations such as driver education and awareness, as well as charging strategies and maximising electric vehicle utilisation” Loveday said. “VWFS offers a multitude of resources and tools that can help fleet decision-makers understand the options and see how the transition can benefit their business, their drivers and the environment.”