Fleet News

Survey shows reluctance to invest in electric vehicles

The future of the electric vehicle market has been dealt a blow by board directors' reluctance to invest while there is uncertainty over the long term costs, a survey reveals.

A poll of 100 finance chiefs by Lex Autolease shows that while two out of every five directors prioritise the reduction of fleet costs, not one would do so by introducing alternative fuelled vehicles.

Chris Chandler, associate director of Lex Autolease's Consultancy team, says: "Fully electric powered vehicles are not a realistic mainstream company car option at this moment in time. This is partly due to the inherent limitations of the recharging infrastructure, limited vehicle choice and availability, but also because of the lack of certainty on running costs."

Lex Autolease highlights that while the EV market is still very new there are significant variations between the pricing of vehicles coming to market. For example, the Nissan Leaf will cost £28,350, while the smaller Mitsubishi's i- MiEV will retail at £38,699 (excluding government subsidy).

"Although many firms want to be green, we will only be accustomed to seeing EVs on the company car park if they are cost effective. More models are being promised over the next few years, but to convince these board directors, manufacturers will need to show that there are savings to be made", adds Chris Chandler.

Despite the obvious fuel savings offered by the introduction of electric vehicles, the Lex Autolease poll highlights that more than a third(38%) of directors prioritise reductions in their existing fuel bill. However, the vast majority (72%) admit to having no strategy in place to mange down expenditure on vehicles.

Chris Chandler says: "To achieve significant returns over a short period of time, fuel is certainly the one area for businesses to focus on. But these savings can only be realised as part of a comprehensive fuel policy review.

"More can be done to ensure that employees help reduce their fuel bill and this can be achieved with a healthy mix of education, training and monitoring of drivers' performance. Savings of up to 10% can be achieved with relative ease, especially if firms harness the benefits of fuel cards."

"At a time of seemingly ever increasing pump prices, having the right fuel policy can reduce the impact of these rises", adds Chris Chandler.

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