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According to Autofocus, nearly three-quarters of large fleets want faster charging times that rival a 5-minute refueling time.
The greater range, they say, will benefit employee productivity and save valuable time on the road.
In the company’s car parc, 43% of vehicles travel frequently, charging time is too long, coupled with insufficient charging facilities, resulting in excessive downtime.
In the latest issue of Cox Automotive’s Quarterly Insights Roundup, AutoFocus and research house 360 Media Group highlight key industry trends and current needs.
“Future Electric Vehicle investment requires better charging infrastructure – the ratio of chargers to EVs will soon become a critical measure, particularly in cities and clean air zones,” said Ian Richardson, managing director of the 360 Media Group.
However, Cox Cars and 360 Media Group say optimism about a greener future for cars has never been stronger, and it’s not just the UK’s major fleets that have embraced electrification.
Small and medium-sized businesses are also transforming, they say, but with limited time to make decisions, companies need critical Electric Vehicle information and support to accelerate adoption of cleaner modes of transportation.
Discussing the transition to Electric Vehicle in the UK, Philip Nothard, insight and strategy director at Cox Automotive, said: “There used to be so many obstacles to Electric Vehicle adoption to overcome – fast forward to 2019 and UK fleets had started to dip their toes into the Electric Vehicle pool, ordering their first electric cars. Favourite models included the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen e-Golf.”
Continued progress within the electrification journey was further illustrated by the Government’s recent withdrawal of the ‘Plug-in Car Grant’, which, according to Richardson, “barely registered among our audience of 200 fleet buyers”.
“Their Electric Vehicle strategies are signed, sealed and in the process of being delivered (when the new vehicle supply shortage allows),” he added.
However, the transformation is not without its flaws. A major concern for the UK fleet is HMRC’s planned double-digit tax on the company’s electric vehicles.
As Ian Richardson explains: “There needs to be greater certainty around benefit in kind tax tables beyond 2024/25.
“The taxation may not be as high as the 37% BIK tax levied on many ICE vehicles, but the higher list price of BEVs means the impact on drivers’ tax bills would be significant.”
He continued: “The end of the Electric Vehicle Home charge Scheme has also reinforced the desire to bundle the cost of a home charger with the monthly leasing rental 57% of fleets have requested this.
“Total Cost of Ownership of EVs is also an issue for a third of fleets, who are unsure if they can compete with internal combustion engine vehicles.
“Unfortunately, predictions of vehicle price parity by 2026 are doing little to alleviate these concerns, proving that it isn’t just the Government that needs to up its game, with manufacturers and leasing companies also feeling the pressure.”
Furthermore, HMRC’s Advisory Electricity Rate “woefully underestimates” the true electricity cost per mile of an electric van, says Richardson.
“Overall, 43% of fleets seek an electric charge payment reimbursement solution… this is currently their number one administrative burden,” he said.
Nothard agrees with Richardson that everyone must do more to make electrification a viable avenue for more businesses. “It’s clear the UK is making great strides in the Electric Vehicle market for all manner of vehicles,” he added.
“As 360 Media Group reported, over half of fleets are confident in the Government achieving its target to end the sale of cars and vans with internal combustion engines by 2030.
“Forecasts suggest two out of every three UK fleets will order an Electric Vehicle during the next 12 months, which is a huge development. Yet in order to support this burgeoning industry, a comprehensive infrastructure overhaul must be implemented as soon as possible.”
He concluded: “The responsibility must be shared across the automotive sector – with manufacturers, leasing companies, charge point operators, charging payment solutions and remarketing channels all playing their part.”
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