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Fleet decision makers have vital role to play

By Kyle Lindsay
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 15:30

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She’s electric

New report from Venson reveals interest in zero and ultra low emission vehicles on the rise

The Government forecasts that by 2050 almost every car and van on UK roads will be an ultra-low emission vehicle. However, current figures suggest that take-up of electric vehicles is slow which is driving the Government, motor manufacturers and vehicle recharging companies to spend billions of pounds on reinvigorating the market.

With this in mind, Venson Automotive Solutions believe fleet decision-makers have a critical role to play in boosting demand for electric vehicles, reporting a rising interest in zero and ultra low emission vehicles from its clients.

Simon Staton, Director of Client Management at Venson Automotive Solutions explains: “Businesses and organisations are responsible for buying the majority of new vehicles in the UK. Therefore, it stands to reason that once fleet managers turn to electric vehicles, the rest of the UK will follow.”

To assist in the acquisition of pure electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the Government currently offers grants of up to £5,000 off the cost of a car (£8,000 for vans), but so far, businesses remain reluctant. So what’s holding the market back?

The demand for electric vehicles faces a challenge from a range of social and psychological hurdles, such as the high list price of cars, uncertainty over residual values, limited mileage range and worries over recharging infrastructure. In a bid to overcome these hurdles, the Government has said that it will provide £500 million to support the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles between 2015 and 2020, including 0% benefit-in-kind tax rate for pure electric vehicles in 2014/15.

Notwithstanding the cost of vehicles and future increases in benefit-in-kind tax rates, Venson Automotive Solutions is receiving interest in zero and ultra-low emission vehicles from fleet managers representing organisations from public and private sectors. Local councils are also stepping up to the plate to encourage businesses to consider the switch to electric cars and vans with vehicle leasing playing a central role. An example is the Inmotion program being spearheaded by four councils in South Yorkshire.

The South Yorkshire Electric Vehicle project has been designed to encourage businesses and their staff to lease electric vehicles for shorter work journeys. The scheme, which is the first of its kind, aims to reduce harmful emissions on the region’s roads and help businesses make vital savings on fuel costs, through an initiative that could be adopted by councils across the UK

Initiatives like this could serve to lay the path for local businesses throughout the UK to reduce CO2 levels in their region. The financial savings the Plug-in vehicle scheme offers brings businesses the added benefit of improving their bottom line whilst making a valuable contribution to the Government’s sustainability programme. By leasing electric vehicles today, fleet managers can test the water, helping them decide to buy PHEVs tomorrow – making them the catalyst that will drive the future of this market in the UK.

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