UK businesses are planning a 50% increase in EV spending, both on vehicles and infrastructure.  -  Photo Centrica

UK businesses are planning a 50% increase in EV spending, both on vehicles and infrastructure.

Photo Centrica

Businesses in the UK are planning a £15.8 billion ($22.16 billion) spend on fleet electrification over the next 12 months. It represents a 50% uplift year-on-year, having spent £10.5 billion on electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and on-site charging points in the previous 12 months to end March 2021.

The new data is from research commissioned by Centrica Business Solutions, owners of utility firm British Gas.

The report discovered that 40% of the firms questioned had increased EV fleet totals during April 2020 through March 2021.

Of these businesses, six in ten (58%) cited the need to meet corporate sustainability targets as the biggest driving factor behind increased EV adoption, followed by reducing operational disruption caused by low and zero-emission zones (51%) and the attraction of lower whole life costs offered by EVs (37%).

Range anxiety remains an issue to greater EV fleet adoption says the report, 34% of respondents citing this reason. Meanwhile, requirements for business investment elsewhere was another reason for 32% of those surveyed, much of which can be laid at the door of the COVID-19 pandemic during a year when UK GDPR fell by 9.9%.

Despite these impediments to further EV investment, two-thirds surveyed claim that their fleets will be fully EV compliant by the time the Government's ban on traditional ICE vehicles commences 2030.

Greg McKenna, Managing Director of Centrica Business Solutions, comments:

“The fact that firms are planning to increase their spending so dramatically over the next 12 months is proof that more businesses are recognising the advantages of adopting low-emission vehicles, especially as they recover from coronavirus and seek to create sustainable growth.”

Rachel Maclean, Transport Minister in the UK, adds: “As we accelerate towards our net-zero future, I’m delighted to see UK firms at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution.

“With British businesses set to increase their investment in electric vehicles by 50%, the message is clear – the future is electric. With generous Government grants and tax incentives there has never been a better or more exciting time to make the switch.”

Originally posted on Global Fleet Management