The next 18 months present a “great opportunity” to promote the advantages of electric vehicles to fleets and translate corporate and driver curiosity into much wider adoption, says Arval UK.
David Watts, consultant, points out the market is ready for a wider range of electric vehicles in greater numbers but is waiting for much greater supply to become available.
He explained: “The situation today is that there is a lot of fleet interest in EVs but, because of the limited model choice and the waiting times for some of the newer models at present, it is difficult to turn promising conversations into positive action.
“However, as we go through 2020, we expect that picture to start to change quite quickly as manufacturers begin to introduce more models and ramp up production, which will be supported by the new Government company car taxation changes. It is interesting to note that the latest results from Arval Mobility Observatory show that 16% of fleets have already incorporated EVs with 22% using plug-in hybrids, figures which are only going to increase.
“It will be really important over the next 18 months to not only get the messaging right but company car policies also need to evolve to ensure that the right vehicles get onto the right choice lists for the right drivers. We also need to make sure that orders can be fulfilled in the best time possible. This is a time period that represents a great opportunity for positive change.”
David said that an important part of this conversation was answering concerns about range and charging but also increasing awareness of other benefits of EV driving and operation.
“We need to tackle range anxiety, of course, and part of this is to blow apart some of the common EV myths, such as them not being suitable for drivers who cover longer distances.
“However, we should also be doing more to promote the inherent advantages of EVs beyond zero tailpipe emissions. These range from ease of home charging and access to the rapidly growing recharging infrastructure through to a driving experience that is generally quieter and more refined than a combustion-engined car.”
David said that a variety of EVs were on their way to market during the next 18 months in a number of popular company car vehicle segments that would naturally create a heightened interest from fleets and drivers.
“Some of the forthcoming models for 2020 and 2021 could, we believe, prove to be extremely attractive to the fleet market and help to change market perceptions of EVs.
“As a company, we are enthusiastically promoting the advantages of going electric, including speaking slots at industry events in which I have been actively involved, information for our customers and more. Over the next 18 months, we will be working very hard to increase this momentum.”