18.5.2012 Businesses reluctant to choose EVs
ALD Automotive, leading UK vehicle leasing and fleet management company, has announced survey results of 1,000 business drivers, revealing that over six out of ten would not change their conventional vehicle for an electric one.
Although both battery range and our recharging infrastructure are progressing quickly, these were considered the major barriers to switching to electric. 78% of drivers surveyed raised concerns about range and 77% regarded a lack of charging points as a significant reason not to change to electric vehicles.
Less than a third (32%) of drivers said that they would consider changing to an electric vehicle. Of those that were positive about the new technology, reduced CO2 emissions were cited as being the major factor (73%), with the perceived lower running costs being second most important (69%). Only 6% would switch to an electric vehicle immediately.
Even with UK fuel price at record levels, the survey highlights that manufacturers and the Government still have some way to go in overcoming business drivers' scepticism associated with running an electric vehicle. This is despite fleets buying 59% of all electric vehicles sold in 2011 and 93% of those sold so far this year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Recent changes to the Benefit in Kind (BIK) rate could also have a negative effect on the uptake of electric vehicles among business drivers. At present, business drivers running electric vehicles do not pay any BIK tax, while low-emission hybrid cars, like the Vauxhall Ampera, sit in the 5% company car tax bracket. However, the Government has decided to make business users pay company car tax on all low-CO2 vehicles from 2015/16; both types of vehicle will fall into the 13% band.
Key results of the 1000 UK business drivers surveyed:
* 6% would certainly change to an electric vehicle
* 32% would possibly change to an electric vehicle
* 60% of those drivers who do not want to change to an electric vehicle claim the lack of suitable models on offer today as being the key factor
* 35% of drivers would not change because they are not convinced about overall reduction in life-cycle CO2 emissions
* 28% of drivers that would change stated a reduction in noise pollution as a key factor
Commenting on the survey results, Keith Allen, managing director of ALD Automotive UK, said: "The survey results highlight that whilst some business drivers may consider changing to an electric vehicle in the future, lack of charging points and battery range still need to be addressed by the Government and manufacturers in order to convince business drivers to make that all important switch."
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