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New report reveals ‘dramatic increase’ in fleet adoption of plug-in and hybrid vehicles

New report reveals ‘dramatic increase’ in fleet adoption of plug-in and hybrid vehicles

There has been a dramatic increases in the proportion of fleets operating electric and hybrid vehicles over last two years, according to the latest ExpertEye Fleet Industry Review.

Based on a survey of more than 200 fleet operators the study reveals that the proportion of fleets with hybrid fuel vehicles has increased from 32% to 62% and electric from 8% to 22%. The study also reveals that 99% of respondents operated diesel company cars, 67% petrol-engined models and 24% range-extended electric vehicles.  

Additionally, the report highlighted that 18% of fleets operated a company car policy with no restrictions placed on vehicle choice. The report suggested that was due to manufacturers being particularly successful in persuading fleet operators to restrict their employees’ vehicle choice to either sole badge or a limited number of suppliers.  

The Review also suggested that 23% of respondents believed that employees would be less interested in company cars in the next 12 months.  

That, ExpertEye concluded, begged the question; what would they get instead? Possibly a cash allowance towards the cost of providing their own car, which then called into question numerous issues aground ‘grey fleet’ management and was not a viable option for employees who needed to drive a lot of business mileage.  

The report says: “A cash allowance works well for an employee who wants to drive a high-CO2 car and who drives few business miles, but in most other cases it delivers significant disadvantages and costs.”  

The Review, produced in association with Professor Colin Tourick, of the University of Buckingham, it also reveals that:

  • The majority of companies set a CO2 emission cap on their employees’ cars. However, with the 2017 Finance Bill introducing the concept of employees being taxed on the higher of a cash allowance or the cash equivalent value of their company car, the motivation to choose a low CO2 emission car was 
  • Fleet managers were focussing on monthly rental rates rather than vehicle cost per mile, so the fleet industry’s message - that cars should be selected based on their total cost of ownership, which included fuel costs - had not been getting through.         
  • There was still plenty of opportunity for leasing companies and fleet management companies to sell services to UK fleet operators. A total of 8% of respondents don’t have - and don’t plan to have - satisfactory arrangements for checking licences, 11% were not managing their duty of care properly, 13% were not getting proper reports from their leasing providers and 17% were not receiving accident data which they could analyse and on which they could make decisions.