With sales of new electric vans lagging far behind those of cars, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) is developing a new ‘electric van plan’ to help fleets make the switch and address concerns around the move away from internal combustion engines (ICE).
The BVRLA is working with other trade associations and commercial vehicle groups to devise the plan, which is due to be published this quarter.
While the BVRLA said it expected adoption rates of electric cars to continue to increase, the electric van market is less clear. Vehicle suitability, transition costs and infrastructure accessibility remain the crucial barriers to overcome.
It hopes that the new plan will help the leasing sector and end-user fleets navigate some of the challenges they face, particularly when new targets have been introduced as part of the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, which came into force this year. It sets out the percentage of new zero emission cars and vans that manufacturers will be required to produce each year. This year, 10% of vans and more than a fifth (22%) of cars sold by manufacturers will need to be electric.
The targets for manufacturers will increase each year, requiring 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain to be zero emission by 2030, increasing to 100% by 2035. The BVRLA says the fleet leasing sector is primed to play a vital role in the UK meeting its electric vehicle (EV) targets. Gerry Keaney, BVRLA chief executive, said:
The leasing sector is an essential partner to vehicle manufacturers as they ramp up their sales of zero-emission vehicles.
Some 42% of new cars added to the BVRLA’s leasing fleet in Q3 2023 were battery electric vehicles (BEV), giving a strong foundation for the industry to achieve the 22% target set for total new car sales in 2024. The sector is already operating more than 400,000 BEVs, representing more than a third of total cars on the BVRLA’s leasing fleet.
The average age of cars on the fleet is just over three years, also highlighting the role of the sector in feeding the used EV market with reliable second-hand cars.
Fleet leasing is helping to deliver decarbonisation at pace
Business customers and fleet users have paved the way.
The BVRLA says more people are taking advantage of company-provided salary sacrifice car schemes to make the switch to electric, with year-on-year growth of 68%. However, amid the growth in company-provided electric cars, imbalances remain that put the UK’s wider road transport decarbonisation goals at risk, warns the trade body. The supply of used EVs is rising faster than demand and combined with a lack of confidence within the second-hand market is putting pressure on prices.
Latest data shows that the average price of second-hand EVs and hybrids fell by 5.9% in Q4 2023, above the average year-on-year fall of 3.3% seen on the most popular used vehicles.