Motor Industry Update 24 September 2021

BVRLA Fleet Road To Zero Image credit: BVRLA

Gaps appear in fleet sector’s drive to decarbonise

The fleet market’s road to zero is not going to plan as the country heads towards the petrol and diesel phase-out in 2030.

The latest BVRLA Road to Zero Report Card provides a traffic-light assessment of the decarbonisation trajectories of the UK’s car, van and truck fleets and measures their progress against the criteria of battery electric vehicle Supply, Demand and Infrastructure.

The data has been compiled by sustainability consultants Ricardo, with contributions from a number of fleets, transport and energy stakeholders, and shows a very mixed picture.

For cars, the picture is by and large encouraging, where a positive outlook for BEV infrastructure and supply achieves an ‘Amber – accelerating’ rating, and surging demand gains a ‘Green – cruising’ score. The majority of fleet car segments are embracing BEVs with enthusiasm, driven by a favourable tax regime, a range of new models and growth in the charging network.

However, the van fleet sector paints a rather different story with the BEV infrastructure, supply and demand all receiving an ‘Amber – brakes-on’ assessment, reflecting growing concerns about a shortage of suitable electric vans for many key use cases, issues with public charging infrastructure and insufficient government support in the form of grants and tax incentives for businesses.

It’s the HGV market though where there are the biggest concerns. And with the Government poised to issue a 2035-2040 phase-out deadline, the sector gets a blanket ‘Red – parked’ rating. There is precious little momentum in this fleet segment, with no phase-out delivery plan, no technology roadmap, no mainstream vehicles and no charging infrastructure in place.

Electric vehicle drivers could save £92 million on their energy bills each year

Research from Love my EV, the UK’s only dedicated electric vehicle and energy tariff price comparison site, shows that electric vehicle drivers could potentially save £92 million a year by switching to a dedicated EV energy tariff.

Almost a fifth of EV drivers surveyed were unaware of EV-friendly energy tariffs that could save them on average £351 a year on their energy bills. Even EV drivers who had heard about these tariffs have not signed up to one, with 24% of drivers saying that they either didn’t know enough about these tariffs or 20% saying they did not know how to compare them to find their best options.

It would appear that the two motivators driving sales of EVs are fuel cost savings and ecological reasons, but people do need to shop around for energy if they are to maximise their cost savings and carbon impact. A third of EV drivers haven’t changed energy provider or tariff since purchasing their new electric vehicle, which means that they could be paying far more than they need to.

July saw more EVs being registered than diesel cars for the second month in a row, according to recent industry figures, with one in 10 cars sold in the UK being battery powered. Now that there are many more EVs on the road, there is an urgent need for increased uptake of EV specific tariffs that save consumers money and therefore encourages the use of greener energy.