New data suggests that UK businesses are planning to invest £12 billion in electric vehicles (EVs) over the next two years - nearly a 50 per cent increase compared to the previous 24 months.
Centrica Business Solutions surveyed 200 businesses with a turnover of more than £1 million and found that many are planning to significantly ramp-up spending on the electrification of their fleet.
In the two years since the government announced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 - now set to be brought forward to at least 2035 - businesses have spent an estimated £8.2 billion on EVs. Over the next two years, Centrica estimates that investment will rocket by 46 per cent.
Over a quarter (27 per cent) of the businesses surveyed expect at leat a fifth of their vehicles to be electric by 2022. The three key drivers cited by respondents were pressure from government emissions targets, wanting to operate freely in low emissions zones, and the lower upkeep costs of EVs compared to petrol and diesel vehicles.
Solar ‘the right option’ for charging
The upfront cost of EVs remains the biggest barrier to adoption, followed by ‘range anxiety’ and the impact of charging on electricity consumption.
Alan Barlow, UK and Ireland director for Distributed Energy at Centrica Business Solutions, said: “There is clear recognition among UK businesses of the increasingly important operational role EVs can play for them in meeting their decarbonisation goals. But concern is still widespread over how to finance this significant change, particularly for those with large petrol and diesel fleets.
“Vehicle charging is inevitably going to increase the amount of electricity businesses consume. It’s our view that onsite generation from solar panels, allied with battery storage and smart charging are the right option for many businesses to enable them to provide charging facilities without facing large increases to power costs and upgrades to their incoming supply.”
Posted under General Interest, Carbon Reduction and Environmental Technologies and Renewable Energy on 25 March 2020