A new survey has revealed exactly how low the current penetration of
electric and hybrid cars and vans is within small-medium UK company fleets.
Research released by MIB Data Solutions, which produces the Fleet Data and
Fleet Entire industry databases, found that just seven out of exactly 1,000
fleets (0.7%) questioned were operating any electric vehicles.
Perhaps more surprisingly, only 18 fleets (1.8%) out of those surveyed,
ranging from companies with just one vehicle to those with as many as 100,
were operating any hybrid vehicles.
Nick Boddington, Managing Director, at MIB Data Solutions, said that the
results showed exactly how far motor manufacturers and legislators had to go
in terms of convincing the majority of UK businesses to move away from
conventional petrol and diesel vehicles.
"If you look at the amount of coverage given in the media to the subject of
electric and hybrid vehicles, you could be forgiven for thinking that they
were becoming relatively commonplace. However, these findings show that as
far as UK SME businesses are concerned, they are still very much marginal
"To a large extent, it is understandable that electric vehicles are so
rare – it is only in the last few months that viable choices have been
available – but it is surprising to see that fewer than one in 50 fleets
surveyed had any hybrids. When you consider that the technology has been on
sale for more than a decade and the high level of competence of the latest
models, that low level of penetration seems disappointing.
"Clearly, considerable motor manufacturer sales and marketing effort
alongside expensive Government incentives will go into attempting to
encourage small-medium fleets to look carefully at electric and hybrid
vehicles in the next couple of years as models like the Nissan Leaf and
Vauxhall Ampera make their way to market but our research indicates that
there is a very steep hill to climb.
"It perhaps also suggests that, if there is to be a significant fleet
penetration of electric and hybrid vehicles in the medium term, it will have
to come from major corporates who are willing to make policy decisions that
encourage take up."
MIB’s research also showed that just 86 of the fleet managers surveyed
(8.6%) said that they were interested in reducing fleet emissions.
Nick continued: "To some extent, the views of fleet managers are irrelevant
because most of the impetus for CO2 reductions in recent years has come from
drivers through the company car benefit in kind taxation scheme, and this
momentum is likely to continue in the foreseeable future. However, the
research does indicate that asking UK small-medium companies corporately to
adopt electric and hybrid vehicles on environmental grounds is likely to
have an extremely limited impact."