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One-third of the UK’s fleet managers expect more than 50% of their company car fleets will be electric within five years. That’s according to a new survey conducted by Go Ultra Low – a joint UK government and industry campaign to promote the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs).

The responses of 500 key fleet managers and decision-makers also revealed an overwhelming appetite to embrace the electric era, with seven in 10 fleet managers committing to purchase an EV within the next two years.

The survey, commissioned in partnership with the UK’s Energy Saving Trust, was designed to better understand the existing company fleet mix as well as the key considerations when it comes to purchasing and leasing EVs.

Reflecting on the findings, Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, says: “The decisions fleet managers make about EVs today will be critical in driving mass adoption tomorrow.”

Tim Anderson, Group Head of Transport at Energy Saving Trust, says the global pandemic will force British business to radically rethink all aspects of their value chains to emerge stronger.

“As an industry, as we continue to navigate the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, there has never been a more imperative time to support the drive to mass EV adoption – one that will be both financially and socially advantageous for companies,” says Anderson.

According to the survey that spoke specifically to fleet managers, the three key factors that inhibit EV adoption include the elevated price point (47%) and their limited range (51%), as well as a perceived lack of charge points (56%).

Welch tells Auto Futures: “There are a lot of myths around EVs that are misplaced, and we work hard to dispel those myths with advice, research, features and partnerships with organisations such as the Energy Saving Trust. Many people still express concern about an EV’s range, for example, yet the average daily commute is 15-miles. It’s insight like this that shows people that EVs are more suitable than they may have first realised.”

“Before the coronavirus pandemic dominated our world, there were 31,918 EVs (BEVs and PHEVs) registered in the first quarter of 2020. That’s the highest number of electric vehicles registered for any quarter since Go Ultra Low records began in 2014. So if we want to keep the EV adoption curve moving, we need to keep the car industry moving and Go Ultra Low will continue to support once driving, production and retail are back up and running,” adds Welch.

The UK currently has over 2,600 rapid charge points, making the country’s network one of the most extensive in Europe. However, it still has got a way to go before it rivals the likes of Norway, which is out in front when it comes to EV purchasing and infrastructure.

“Norway has demonstrated the importance of a world-class package of incentives and infrastructure to drive EV adoption. Today, the British government also provides a direct purchase incentive in the form of the plug-in car grant, offering up to £3000 off the price of a new electric car. Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is scaled based on carbon dioxide emissions, there are schemes to subsidise the cost of home charging via the Electric Vehicle Home-Charge Scheme or the On-Street Residential Charging Scheme, and there is the 0% Benefit In Kind tax bracket for zero emissions company cars.”

“City policies such as Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ) and the London Congestion Zone are also becoming increasingly important in facilitating behaviour change,” adds Welch.

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