What are the main barriers stopping businesses embracing electric vehichles?

Loading energy of an electric car

New research published today by vehicle leasing experts LeasePlan UK has revealed that over a quarter (29%) of fleet managers feel they lack the sufficient knowledge to advise their drivers on electric vehicles (EVs).

Yet 9 out of 10 people surveyed say they are expected to be the EV expert within their business.

In the survey of 200 fleet managers across the UK, half of whom already have EVs within their fleet, nearly one in four (24%) say that they would benefit in further training around EVs.

When asked what kind of training they would most benefit from, the most common answers were ‘how to maximise a battery range’ (53%) and ‘how to carry out vehicle checks (53%). This was followed by ‘EV charging’ (51%), ‘key differences between EV and ICE vehicles’ (40%) and ‘health and safety’ (30%).

The survey also found that demand for EVs is growing amongst fleet drivers, and as such, fleet managers are finding themselves faced with questions around the switch to EVs on a regular basis.

Four in five (80%) fleet managers say that that their drivers have asked them about EV driving in the last 12 months, while nine in 10 (91%) say there has been a noticeable rise in conversations around EVs amongst their drivers.

Alfonso Martinez, Managing Director at LeasePlan UK, said: “By now, most fleet-operating businesses have started to lay the foundations for their journey to electric. Whether that’s making initial assessments of their driver profiles or getting ahead of the curve and switching out their vehicles for EVs now, fleet decision makers need to be thinking about their next steps. And with the 2030 ban only nine years away and the introduction of multiple Clean Air Zones across the UK imminent, there’s no time to waste.

“Yet, our research reveals a significant knowledge gap around EVs within fleet teams. This is something that businesses urgently need to address, as a successful transition towards a zero emission fleet requires the right expertise and support to be in place. Otherwise, they could be faced with costly and disruptive setbacks.

“Behind any smooth and efficient transition is a well-trained and resourced fleet manager. They are the backbone of the company fleet, and in most workplaces are considered the go-to person for all matters related to EVs. This means that they are the first port of call whenever anyone has any questions or issues.

“The trouble is that while they may be EV champions, many fleet managers feel like they lack the sufficient expertise to advise their team with confidence. Therefore, it’s essential that we provide comprehensive training and access to the right tools so that fleet managers can fulfil their role and provide the necessary support to their team.”

The survey also revealed a lack of confidence among fleet managers in their business’ EV strategy. While four in five (82%) respondents said their company has a strategy in place for transitioning to an EV fleet, one in five (22%) said that they feel their company is moving too fast and two in five (41%) said they wish their company were more ambitious. Only one third (35%) said that their company has the right strategy.

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