New study reveals current state of UK's green fleets and infrastructure as well as changing attitudes towards electric vehicles
Kia Motors (UK) Ltd. has undertaken an extensive new study, interviewing 150 Fleet Managers nationwide for its 2019 Fleet Green Perspectives Report. The report uncovers the current state of UK fleets, the changing perspectives of Fleet Managers and how the UK infrastructure and public attitude is affecting decision making.
Attitudes and Predictions
Fleet Managers are already recognising the need for EVs/PHEVs on their fleets. 65 per cent of those surveyed said their organisation’s fleet already includes both EVs and PHEVs, this is an increase of 27 per cent in the last year. However, there are some barriers to adoption; with 39 per cent saying that they are too expensive, 31 per cent think they don’t charge quickly enough and 23 per cent think that the UK’s charging infrastructure is not good enough to support having an EV/PHEV.
Although attitudes generally towards EVs/PHEVs are becoming more positive, there are still doubts about the current state of the industry – with 80 per cent believing that EVs/PHEVs do not have sufficient battery charge to provide the range required for fleet driving, limiting them from being offered as part of a fleet.
Similarly, 62 per cent believe that both the UK’s charging infrastructure and the battery life in the cars will be good enough to warrant buying into in the next 2-5 years, so progress is on the horizon.
When asked ‘why do you/would you include EVs/PHEVs in your organisation’s fleet?’ the most popular responses were because they are good for the environment (49 per cent), they are cost-effective (45 per cent) and because legally these vehicles will need to be included in fleets in the future(37 per cent).
Although the arrival of EVs/PHEVs is being received somewhat positively, there still seems to be some way to go in terms of education surrounding mileage capabilities. Only 26 per cent of Fleet Managers knew what the average electric-only mileage was on an EV/PHEV vehicle. It’s clear there is a need for education regarding the capabilities of electrified vehicles, with the average range on an EV vehicle being 100-133 miles*. Bucking the average is the all-new Kia e-Niro which achieves 282 miles on a single charge.
Furthermore, it seems as if public perspectives are also having a huge impact on fleet decisions, with 71 per cent of respondents saying that their organisation is nervous about purchasing a petrol or diesel car that isn’t EV/PHEV up five percent from the previous report. This follows recent changes in public opinion towards green vehicles and news surrounding diesel cars – last year only 66 per cent were nervous, so the media is making a mark on the perceptions and demand for alternative fuel vehicles.
When asked if their organisation has seen an increased demand from employees for electrified vehicles, 37 per cent said that they’ve seen a large increase and it seems that local areas are also adapting to the change, with 83 per cent saying that they had already seen shifts to accommodate the switch. There’s still progress to be made, however, with only 15 per cent of Fleet Managers saying that their local area is completely equipped to support EVs/PHEVs.
UK Charging Infrastructure
The issue with infrastructure in our cities seems to be an ongoing theme. When asked why local areas are not completely ready for the electric switch, 41 per cent said that there is a lack of charging points. There are currently 14,800 charging points in the UK, but new measures set out by the government include requirements for motorway services to provide charging infrastructure as well as larger forecourts to account for the influx of EV vehicles. Eight in ten Fleet Managers would expect to see a charging point every 10-30 miles with key locations required including company car parks (58 per cent), service stations (57 per cent), petrol stations (55 per cent) public car parks (54 per cent) and at home (42 per cent). This shows that there is still a long way to go until our towns and cities are ready for the increase in EV/PHEV vehicles – with 59 per cent believing the government is responsible for implementing this.
Recent policies from the UK government show commitment to supporting the growing demand of EV/PHEVs across the UK. As an industry, car manufacturers and the SMMT must work with the government and consumers to support EV charging and ensure the energy system can meet demand.
John Hargreaves, Head of Fleet and Remarketing at Kia Motors UK comments, “It seems that even within just the last 12 months, a lot of progress has been made with regards to the EV/PHEV Fleet revolution; public perception has changed, there has been increased demand and local infrastructures are adapting to facilitate the change. There are some barriers that are delaying the complete switch but we’re confident that 2019 will bring even more positive changes. 2019 is a big year for Kia and our green fleet offering with the launch of the longest mileage electric vehicle, the e-Niro, as well as an increased offering of alternative fuel vehicles across the entire Kia range. Kia is committed to providing a diverse selection of EV/PHEVs and by 2020 will have a total of 14 models.”
The e-Niro with its class-leading driving range of 282 miles and zero emissions launches in all Kia dealerships from April 1 2019. For more information about Kia’s fleet offering and alternative fuel vehicles, please visit: www.kia.co.uk
Research was carried out on 150 Fleet Manager respondents by Vanson Bourne in November 2018.