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UK fleets to lead on hybrid adoption, Arval says

Date: 15 August 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

UK firms are set to lead Europe with their plans to adopt hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles during the next three years.

That's according to research by leasing company Arval, which also found that the UK came second out of 13 European countries when it came to plans to use fully electric vehicles (EVs). 

Research carried out for Arval's Corporate Vehicle Observatory Barometer found that 32% of UK fleets are already running at least one alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV), with 25% adopting hybrids, 22% plug-in hybrids and 14% full EVs.

Within three years, fleets say they expect this will rise to 61% overall, with 53% hybrid, 46% plug-in hybrid and 42% EV.

According to Arval's research, larger fleets are more enthusiastic about EVs, with 35% of those with 50 or more vehicles currently running one, compared with just 4% for fleets with fewer than 10.

Within three years, this is expected to rise to 30% of smaller fleets and 68% of larger ones. 

Head of Arval's Corporate Vehicle Observatory in the UK Shaun Sadlier said: "What we are beginning to see emerge here is perhaps the fuel mix of the future. As some fleets start to turn away from diesel, we will start to experience greater use of not just petrol but a range of AFVs.

"As expected, hybrids and plug-in hybrids are the winners here but, also, more than four out of 10 fleets expect to be operating a full EV by 2021, which would mark a huge increase in EV sales compared to today's levels.

"Part of this could be prompted by the type of EVs that emerge as - from 2020 - we expect to see greatly increased ranges." 

Sadlier added that as adoption of AFVs spread, fleets would become better informed about how to deploy them. 

"In the next few years we believe that fleets will start to gain a greater understanding of which fuels work best in certain types of application and this is something that our consultancy team are now handling on a daily basis.

"Advances in the technology itself will also make electric and plug-in vehicles a more viable option for many more businesses.

"Why is the UK leading Europe in so many areas? There are several factors but, at the top of the list is a taxation regime that encourages low CO2 vehicles and the fact that we replace our vehicle more often than most other countries."