An easier way to switch to an electric fleet

It has been less than two years since the government brought forward its ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030, but electric vehicles have already made a huge amount of progress.

1:5 new registrations electric

Looking at our LeasePlan orderbook, we can see it is now dominated by EVs and recent data from the SMMT suggests battery models now account for almost one in five new vehicle registrations. One of the key factors behind this change is the number of companies that have recognised the cost-saving and environmental benefits of switching – and have decided to take action.

Supply challenges

This is even more impressive when you think that companies face two significant challenges when it comes to electrification. First, the global semi-conductor shortage has increased the lead times for some EV models, which means some companies are having to wait longer to put their electrification strategy in practice – and keep their existing vehicles for longer than their normal lease cycle. Second, it is still difficult to find electric equivalents for certain mission-critical vehicles that meet specific business requirements.

Taking steps towards electrification

For some companies, these challenges might be a reason to wait until later to make the switch, but we think this could be an expensive mistake. It could mean further delays and the added cost of having to ‘catch up’. We encourage our customers to lean on us as much as possible, so we can help them optimise their strategy and make intelligent decisions about which vehicles to prioritise first. A fully electric fleet is always going to be the end goal. But for some businesses – particularly those with large or complex fleets – it is important to recognise that it is likely to take time to get there and it won’t all happen at once.

Strategic reviews

Recently, we’ve been helping our customers carry out strategic reviews of their driver profiles, so they can spot priority vehicles, such as those operating within Clean Air Zones or Ultra Low Emission Zones, as well as any quick ‘wins’. By breaking down the electrification of their fleet into smaller, smarter, shorter-term goals, companies can make huge progress without the long waits.

For example, we’ve been working with a large construction firm to help it electrify 20% of its fleet by targeting its 400 user-chosen company cars. Its new ‘electric first’ policy encourages staff to choose an EV as their company vehicle, with a wide range of models available through our leasing services.

Road to net zero

The journey to electric remains as urgent as ever and business leaders need to do their part to in limiting global temperature rises to 1.5°C. However, this doesn’t mean that all companies need to deliver on the government’s net zero vision overnight. We’re here to help companies take incremental steps towards electrification so they can hit sustainability goals and wider businesses objectives. These smaller steps will soon add up to something far more significant, and that is where the real change comes from.

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