Fleet Alliance has reported a huge surge in orders for of electric vehicles (EVs) from company car drivers looking to take advantage of attractive tax rates available, while enhancing their green credentials.
In the last 12 months, the business, which now manages a fleet in excess of 37,000 vehicles, has seen a 214% increase in EV orders – and a rise of over 5,000% since the start of 2018.
The increase mirrors that seen at a national level as 2020 was a record year for sales of battery and plug-in hybrid electric cars, which together accounted for more than one in 10 registrations – up from around one in 30 in 2019.
Despite a 30% downturn in total new car sales caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the worst performance since 1992, demand for EVs grew by 185.9% to 108,205 units, while registrations of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) rose 91.2% to 66,877.
“The increase in EV orders last year was at the expense of a fall in orders for PHEVs, which suggests that hybrid sales are starting to plateau while those of pure EVs are clearly accelerating.
“The new EV-incentivising BIK tax structure has undoubtedly played a large part in the switch to EVs,” said Martin Brown, managing director of Fleet Alliance.
Almost half (48.2%) of orders received by Fleet Alliance during 2020 were for pure EVs, up from 28.5% in 2019. A further 48.9% were for plug-in hybrids.
Pure EVs now account for 15.2% of the Fleet Alliance managed fleet compared to only 3.8% in 2019 – and 0.3% in 2018.
In terms of individual models, the big winner in the EV stakes has been the Tesla Model 3, which now accounts for more than 40% of new EV orders placed with Fleet Alliance. It was also the most popular on the Fleet Alliance EV sales charts in 2019, and is well ahead of its nearest challenger, the Kia e-Niro.
When it comes to hybrids, the Mitsubishi Outlander - which for several years was the most popular model with Fleet Alliance customers - has now slipped to fifth place, replaced by the BMW 330e at the top of the table.