Helping the planet is the most common reason for drivers wanting to switch to electric vehicles (EVs), according to a new survey of fleet drivers by Mitie.
Having committed to switch 20% of its car and compact van fleet to electric by 2020, Mitie has undertaken a survey of its drivers that registered an interest in switching to an EV.
The results showed that helping the planet, including improving it for future generations, was the top motivator for those wanting an EV, with two-fifths (38%) of fleet drivers stating this as their primary reason. Financial savings followed closely behind, with almost a third (32%) of respondents mostly motivated by potential savings.
This was also reflected when fleet drivers were asked what excited them about their new EV, with the environmental benefits and financial savings again coming first and second (31% and 28% respectively). However, the survey also showed Mitie fleet drivers are keen to stand out from the crowd, with the third most popular response being that employees were excited to pioneer the cause by ‘having something a bit different’.
Simon King, fleet and procurement director at Mitie, said: “As pioneers in large-scale electric vehicle uptake, this survey offered us a rare opportunity to gain insight into our fleet drivers’ motivations to further improve our EV strategy.
"While it’s often cited that finances are the main factor for fleet decisions, it’s gratifying to see that for most employees an ambition to help the planet is actually driving their vehicle choice.
“With ambitious plans to switch our entire fleet to electric by 2030, we hope these insights will help not only Mitie, but also other businesses, take more employees on the journey to electric.”
The survey revealed that choosing to switch is not always an immediate decision. More than half (55%) of drivers stated that they weren’t immediately convinced that they wanted an EV – with concerns around range and charging the key reasons for this.
However, the results also demonstrated that Mitie’s EV roadshows – where drivers were offered a chance to meet with experts from Mitie’s charge point partner, Pod Point, as well as representatives from vehicle manufacturers – achieved their goal of changing minds.
Two thirds (66%) of those who had initial reservations said having their questions answered or a chance for a test drive were the key factors in wanting to switch.
The results also show that pester power is still effective, with one employee stating that they had changed their opinion about EVs following a presentation to school children on sustainability. The keen interest of future generations convinced them to do more to save the planet now.
Mitie was the first major UK facilities management business to announce a large-scale uptake of electric vehicles. As a recent signatory of the EV100 initiative, Mitie has built on its 20% by 2020 commitment by stating that it will have only electric vehicles on its fleet by 2030.
Mitie has further cemented its commitment by achieving Go Ultra Low company status and signing up to the Clean Van Commitment.