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UK businesses in best position to make EV switch

UK businesses are in the best position in Europe to switch their light vehicle fleets to all-electric options, according to new research.

A report into public and private organisations’ vehicle use found that two-thirds of business cars and vans in the UK could be replaced with an electric equivalent without any negative impact, and could save organisations money.

The report – Taking Charge: On the Road to an EV Future – was produced by connected transport specialist Geotab, which analysed driver data from 1.3 million vehicles across seven countries over 12 months.

It concluded that despite the lack of incentives and pessimism among businesses, the UK was the most ‘EV suitable’ market in Europe.

Using real-world telematics data from business fleets, Geotab compared fleets’ driving patterns against real-world EV performance metrics to pinpoint which vehicles could be replaced with an EV available in that market.

For a replacement to be considered suitable it must be able to complete its usual daily tasks on a single charge 98% of the days each year. The 2% margin allows for outlier days with abnormal driving distance days outside of standard usage. It must also have an equal or lower total cost of ownership across a seven-year lifespan than a new replacement ICE model.

Geotab found that 66% of light-duty vehicles (cars and vans) in the UK are ready to go electric, compared with 43% in Spain (43%), 35% in Germany (35%), 28% in Italy (28%) and just 20% in France.

The 66% figure for the UK is based on a typical seven-year replacement cycle for a fleet vehicle. Expanding this period to 10 years would increase the percentage of fleet cars and vans in the UK ready to go electric to 73%, based on the fact that EVs have a longer usable lifespan than their petrol and diesel counterparts thanks to service, maintenance and repair savings.

“The idea that the UK is not ready for mass EV adoption is a fallacy,” said David Savage, vice president for the UK and Ireland at Geotab. “On the contrary, it’s time for British businesses to double down on fleet electrification – not just for the good of the environment and our collective climate goals but for their bottom line.

“A visionary CEO of a business operating a vehicle fleet could effectively pay their own salary by going electric, thanks to EVs’ financial savings.”

According to Geotab’s calculations, British private and public sector organisations could reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) per vehicle by £13,279 over a seven-year period by going electric.

If every eligible vehicle was replaced with an EV, it would also save a collective 19 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions over seven years.

Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.

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