Driving the EV revolution

Writing for EV Fleet World Magazine, the BVRLA's Communications Manager Andrea McMahon highlights how the rental and leasing industry has been driving the demand-side of road transport decarbonisation.

During the past two years, the pace of road transport decarbonisation has accelerated, and the rental and leasing industry has been driving the demand-side of that acceleration.

BVRLA rental and leasing members’ vast purchasing power and fast fleet cycles see them collectively buying around 50% of all new vehicles, including over 80% of those manufactured and sold in the UK every year.

Owning and operating 1-in-10 cars, vans and trucks on UK roads, our members continue to drive the transition to electric, with EVs representing a growing proportion of their fleet mix.

Our latest Quarterly Leasing Survey published on 13 April shows that nearly one-fifth of leasing members’ fleet now has some form of electrification with 5% of the car fleet being pure EV and 15% hybrid. And this figure is only set to increase with members pledging to register around 400,000 new battery electric cars and vans each year by 2025.

This marks a significant increase when you consider that they were registering around 50,000 in 2018.

Not only are they adding more EV’s to their fleet mix, rental and leasing operators are taking steps to proactively educate people on the merits of switching to electric and are even introducing new services to make it easier for individuals and businesses to make the switch.

The leasing sector, and the broker market in particular stand out as innovators in this space, changing their business models to incorporate services such as home charge point installation built into the cost of the monthly contract hire rate.

An increasing number of businesses and individuals are turning to the rental and leasing sectors to gain access to flexible and affordable, low- and zero-emission vehicles and the sector’s green credentials make leasing and rental attractive options for those living or working in towns and cities introducing Clean Air Zones.

Demand for EV’s is but one part of the story that will only convert into mass uptake if all other essential ingredients are in place. Appropriate vehicle supply. The right financial incentives, and adequate infrastructure. Only then will the EV revolution really take hold.

There is clearly a widespread desire to see the UK achieving its zero-emission goals, but it will take more than a social and environmental appetite to realise that ambition. The economic element is key. Fleets and drivers need long-term tax certainty to instil confidence when considering vehicle investment decisions.

We know that Government does not always align its fiscal and environmental policies to help boost EV uptake. We saw evidence of that recently with the cut to Plug-in Grants – now that really was a PiG of an announcement - and one that will have come as a particular blow to the commercial vehicle sector, who have been working so hard to drive uptake of electric vans and trucks.

The BVRLA continues to regularly remind policymakers of the impact of these decisions on fleets, drivers, and the UK’s ability to meet its ambitious zero-emission goals. And BVRLA members continue to do all they can to drive the EV revolution.

Issue 2, 2021 of EV Fleet World is out now


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Andrea McMahon

Communications Manager, BVRLA

Andrea joined the BVRLA in May 2017.