Fleet electrification is gathering pace despite the threat of rising energy prices and supply shortages, says Fleet Logistics UK.
It is reporting record levels of requests for consultancy and advice on implementing an electric vehicle (EV) fleet policy.
One of the factors behind the acceleration is the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has brought reduced driver journeys across the board and, as a result, has reduced range anxiety from more drivers’ minds, says Fleet Logistics.
Sue Branston, country head for UK and Ireland at Fleet Logistics UK, said the likelihood of much higher energy prices from April had done nothing to deter businesses’ desire to switch to EVs.
“We have all heard and read the stories regarding the likely impact of rising energy prices from April, and you might have been excused for thinking that this might limit the desire to switch to EVs,” explained Branston.
“However, nothing could be further from the truth. We have customers virtually queuing up outside the door for help with EV adoption and implementation and policy advice.”
She added: “Germany saw significant energy price increases last year of around 18% and this has not slowed adoption levels. And we expect the same thing to happen here.”
The tax advantages of the current benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax regime, which currently imposes tax rates of 1% and 2% from April for electric cars, the savings available far outweigh the possible impact of any energy price rises, suggests Branston.
“Not only are there considerable tax savings for both the driver and the employer, but the running costs are lower, and we have seen recent figures that show that service, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs of battery electric vehicles are around 50% lower than those of equivalent ICE vehicles,” she said.
“With fewer moving parts in an electric drivetrain, maintenance intervals are longer and services take less time to perform, so running costs are lower – going someway to offsetting the higher front-end prices that are typically charged for electric cars.”
Sales of electric cars hit record levels last year and more electric cars were registered in 2021 than in the previous five years combined, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Fleet Logistics UK expects this year to build on that success, with the only constraint being the supply of suitable vehicles caused by a global shortage of the semiconductors.
Branston said: “We have seen a significant growth in the consultancy requirements of our clients as they evaluate different approaches, along with different OEMs, lease companies and other suppliers based on their individual fleet needs.
“Thankfully, we have an established and experienced consultancy division so that all through the pandemic and at a time of huge legislative and environmental change, we have had teams of experts in place well-versed in tackling these sorts of issues in single or multiple markets.
“The further development of our Global Mobility Solution arm has been a classic case in the point, and we remain in a perfect position to be able to provide our clients with the independent advice, support and help that they need at this very challenging time.
“That has allowed us to create bespoke solutions and cost scenario tools to support clients in the rapidly approaching 2030 phase-out of combustion engines.
“Our clients take their climate commitments very seriously and we are working with some that plan to phase out all diesel and petrol vehicles by 2025.
“Helping clients establish the right pace and the right product for their individual business remains key,” she added.
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