Fleet News

Financial bosses reluctant to make switch to electric

Two recent studies have indicated the likely uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) by fleets and private motorists.

A Lex AutoLease survey revealed that financial bosses are reluctant to replace their current vehicles for electric.

The poll of 100 finance chiefs found 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.”

A growing number of fleets are becoming more positive about EVs, but nowhere near the numbers claimed by Cenex following recent trials.

The centre of excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technologies said that almost 90% of fleet managers taking part in its trials would consider incorporating EVs into their fleet (Fleet News, May 27).

However, only 57% of respondents to a Fleet News poll said they would follow suit, with range anxiety and cost remaining concerns.

Nevertheless, that’s an increase on a previous Fleet News poll from December 2008 where 40% of fleets were warming to the idea of EVs.

Another study

Following analysis of data from the UK’s largest trial of EVs, it has been found that most drivers will not need to change their normal driving behaviour to accommodate low-carbon transport.

The data, which was released by the Cabled consortium - the largest participant in the Technology Strategy Board’s £25m Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator trial, was collected during the first quarter of a year-long trial of 25 Mitsubishi i-MiEVS.

Engineering company Arup, which was project leader, said the use of EVs is “remarkably similar” to that of their conventionally powered counterparts.

However the study looked at personal rather than fleet use of EVs.

“The report data tells us that the vehicles are parked for around 97% of the time, with usage particularly low during school hours and overnight,” said Neil Butcher, Arup’s project leader. “Coupled with the fact that electric vehicles are quick and easy to plug in, this means that drivers can easily recharge and be capable of maximum range journeys without inconvenience.”

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