Only 18% of UK businesses are fully confident that electric vehicles in their current form are viable for business use, according to research from Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
The survey revealed that 21% of businesses believe electric vehicles are not yet practical for the distance of travel required for business and 14% are concerned that employees will be unsure of how or where to charge them.
Of those businesses more open to potential change, 42% claimed they would only allow employees to use electric vehicles for local journeys.
What has commonly been called range anxiety – where users are concerned about running out of charge before completing a journey – appears to be one of the strongest reasons why UK businesses remain hesitant about embracing the potential for electric vehicles.
However, despite not having a single electric vehicle on its own UK fleet, Enterprise is advising that companies should not dismiss their use without giving consideration to the profile of their business journeys.
According to their own data, a large proportion of business journeys are actually far less than the anticipated 120-mile charge of electric vehicles suggesting that, in some cases, they may be appropriate to use as part of a broader integrated transport solution.
“Electric vehicles are without a doubt part of Enterprise’s future,” said Rob Ingram, director of business rental, UK and Ireland.
“We’ve already invested globally and are looking to lead the way across our operations in Europe.
“We are currently exploring all options for introducing electric vehicles to our UK fleet, considering practicalities surrounding both cost and efficiency.”
He added: “This research suggests that, while alternative technology may be advancing, businesses adaptation to change is being hindered by a lack of clarity and understanding surrounding the potential for electric vehicles and business use.
“The challenge, therefore, is one of changing perceptions and it is important that manufacturers and organisations such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car help businesses understand the opportunities for electric vehicles within their own travel policies.”