Support for electric vehicles (EVs) from global car makers has reached a crucial tipping point, which will make 2014 the year fleets finally switch on to alternative fuels, according to Alphabet.
The leasing company, which recently launched an an EV product for fleets – AlphaElectric – argues that the involvement of brands such as Renault, Peugeot, Citroën, BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan, VW and Ford in the EV market, is helping to support credibility and driving interest in the sector.
Paul Hollick, chief commercial officer at Alphabet, said: "From our perspective, the tide is certainly turning in favour of electric vehicles. The recent Autumn statement launched a further £5m investment for public sector fleets to embrace EV technology, while driverless cars are also moving firmly up the agenda.
"In Norway, the top-selling cars in September and October were electric – the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf respectively; all of which suggests that we are reaching a crucial tipping point in terms of EV acceptance.
"One of the key drivers for change has been the introduction of practical and desirable EV models from respected and trusted mainstream automotive brands.
"There is still a way to go in terms of charging infrastructure in the UK; however, many of the traditional barriers to EV ownership are now falling, as costs come down and manufacturers invest in battery life and range. We’re confident that, with support from the corporate and public sectors, the adoption of EVs will more than double, from 4,200 to 10,000, over the next three years."
Alphabet launched its industry-first EV fleet consultancy service, AlphaElectric in October 2013. This aims to help fleet managers make better decisions about their use of plug-in vehicles, through a four step process; analysis of current fleet usage to identify where it would be beneficial to replace combustion vehicles with EVs, tailored vehicle selection, charging infrastructure for residential and workplace and add-on services ranging from access to the public charging network and flexible mobility to support journeys where electric transport is not appropriate.
Hollick added: "Following the AlphaElectric launch event at the Saatchi Gallery, 100% of those surveyed said that they would consider adopting EVs as part of their fleet, with many of those planning to do so within the next two years. With the expanding range of plug-in vehicles on the market, a growth in the number of public charging points and further government investment, we’re confident that the UK corporate and public sectors will see strong growth in the adoption of EVs.”
Alphabet says AlphaElectric demonstrates its serious intention to drive EV adoption through corporate and public sector channels. The service, which is delivered by Alphabet’s eMobility team, comprises four key steps and is ‘marque neutral’, enabling the Alphabet team to recommend an optimum vehicle mix for individual business needs.