Businesses switching to electric vehicles has been highlighted as the key to unlocking the electric vehicle revolution, according to a new report.
The new report from Cornwall Insight and PricewaterhouseCoopers, ‘Leading the charge! - a catalyst for the EV revolution', said the success of wider EV adoption will largely rest on the fleet industy, which is expected to represent half of the number of all EV sales in the UK by 2030.
The report said that based on Office for National Statistics 2018 data, if all 5.3 million fleet vehicles were to switch to zero tailpipe emission models, it would save as much as 30 million tonnes of CO2, around 25% of all UK transport emissions.
Daniel Atzori, research partner at Cornwall Insight, said: “The electrification of fleets is set to gain momentum, driven both by sustainability commitments and by compelling economic drivers.
“Fleets are likely to play a crucial role in the upcoming electrification of mobility and therefore in the decarbonisation of transport.
“Since fleets can ensure a high rate of utilisation of charging assets, fleet charging offers a range of interesting investment propositions.
“Having a clear and well-defined strategy will be crucial for fleet managers, charge point operators and investors looking to achieve leadership in this emerging market.”
‘Government policy has a critical role to play’
Steve Jennings, PwC UK’s energy and utilities leader, said it was clear that field services, depot-based logistics and leased corporate car fleets have the right characteristics, such as predictable driving and charging patterns, to spearhead EV adoption.
However, Jennings said pent up demand and rising levels of awareness among fleets is not enough to accelerate adoption.
Jennings said: “Government policy has a critical role to play.
“As we emerge from the current Covid-19 pandemic, alongside a strong focus on stimulating economic growth, we may see a growing emphasis on sustainability, including regulatory and strategic support for EV charging, to help address emission levels and improve air quality.
“Without policy certainty for all stakeholders across fleets, EV charging providers and investors, there is a risk that the full potential of this burgeoning EV revolution will not be realised.”
In evaluating the electrification of the fleet market, the report identifies which segments of the sector will be crucial to leading the EV revolution and outlining a road map that fleets may follow as they electrify.
The Cornwall Insight and PwC report said that as fleets have a replacement cycle of between two to four years, fleet electrification has the potential to accelerate growth in the private, second-hand market too.
However, as the fleet electrifies, this will reinforce the need and underpin the economics of EV charging infrastructure throughout the UK. This will ensure ‘range anxiety’ does not stall mass EV adoption.