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Fleet versus consumer EV. Who’s at the front of the grid?

There’s been a huge amount of press recently about the exponential growth in the sales of private electric vehicles. Whilst the UK still very much in the early adopter market stage, the ‘things must change’ message is finally getting through despite the bugbear issues of price, choice, and concerns around range anxiety.

What is less visible is the shift in the fleet market; the projected growth in private fleets from car sharing to tax-incentivised company cars; and the inexorable rise in delivery fleets to support the anticipated 35% year-on -year growth in home shopping and deliveries.

“As of April 2021, there were 245,000 battery-electric cars on UK roads, plus more than 270,000 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)”


Fleet EV: The Lion’s Share?
It is the latter which is behind the World Economic Forum’s forecast that 75% of EVs on the road by 2025 will be fleet delivery vehicles. If this forecast becomes reality, then it’s clearly good news for everyone; vehicles are responsible for a stubborn 17% of our air pollution and anything that accelerates the improvement of air quality in our towns and cities must be applauded.

There are clear incentives for fleets to “go clean”: cheaper operating costs, the increasing burden of financial penalties for accessing clean air/low emission zones, and the potential threat of being banned from major urban areas altogether if not compliant. This is coupled with new powers available to Local Authorities from September to enforce more urban traffic violations by camera (box junctions, pavement parking etc.) through new traffic regulations (Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004). It’s clear early EV adoption is becoming an imperative for fleets.

Infrastructure matters
But it’s not just about the fleet operators – local authorities and their residents will also need to adapt to support and encourage this change; EVs have lower delivery ranges and so we will need to support fleet parking and charging at a local level if we want clean air, pizza and parcels delivered to our doors.

The re-purposing of existing assets such as car parks and brown field sites is going to be a critical factor in a successful transition for the fleet sector – as will digital technology to manage these new environments. Many of the issues that confront our vehicle choice as a consumer apply to fleet managers today. We all need to support the necessary infrastructure and technology adaptation – and fast. If you would like to talk more about the opportunities to enable EV adoption, please get in touch.

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