Interest in EVs is picking up, not only domestically but commercially. As the market continues to grow, businesses are looking to make the leap to a more sustainable and cost-effective future. Reports suggest that UK businesses are set to invest £13.6 billion in electric vehicles (EVs) and supporting infrastructure, this year alone.
More than 163,000 EVs are expected to join UK fleets during 2022, as part of the major investment in fleet electrification. A study, by Centrica Business Solutions, found that 35% more businesses plan to operate EVs by the end of 2022, compared to 2021.
Greg McKenna, managing director of Centrica Business Solutions, said: “The UK continues to make significant inroads towards achieving its electric vehicle ambitions and it’s encouraging to see UK businesses prioritising investment in the journey towards electrification over the next 12 months.
“Businesses will continue to play a vital role in achieving the UK’s green transport ambitions, but with a record number of EVs expected to enter the UK this year, we must ensure the supply of vehicles and wider charging infrastructure is robust enough to meet the demand. Combining energy technology such as solar panels and battery storage into the wider charging infrastructure will help harness renewables and reduce the demand on the grid during peak charging times.”
The majority of fleet operating businesses said they expect to operate a fully electric fleet within the next four years, comfortably ahead of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles. In addition, more than four in ten said they had increased the number of EVs in their fleet over the last 12 months.
Key drivers for take up include meeting sustainability targets, demand from employees and pressure from customers to be more environmentally friendly. Despite the record levels of planned investment, almost two thirds of businesses are worried about accessing public charging points to keep their fleet moving.
To overcome the charging challenge, almost half of firms have installed EV charging points at their premises, with more than a third planning to invest in on-site charging infrastructure in the next 12 months. The research also revealed that two fifths of businesses have invested in renewable energy generation technology such as solar panels to power their fleets, while a further two fifths plan to do so in the year ahead.
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