A “dramatic shift” to electrified vans will imminently be seen among fleet operators, driven by increased choices and electric ranges of vehicles.
Half of respondents (50%) asked in Arval Mobility Observatory research said they were already operating hybrids or planned to do so within the next three years. For plug-in hybrids – where the choice of vehicles is growing fast – almost half (48%) either already had them or planned to do so in the same time-frame.
And when it comes to battery electric vans, 43% of respondents reported already operating them or planning to do so within the next three years.
Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said van fleets wanting to adopt low- or zero-emission vehicles had been hampered by both a lack of models and limited supply.
“But this situation is changing rapidly,” he added, “so with a much wider range of electric and plug-in hybrid vans arriving on the market, we expect to see a dramatic shift. In some respects, these new vans are arguably less popular than electric and hybrid cars because their ranges tend to be limited and are also affected by the weight of the payload carried – but there is undeniably a high level of interest from fleets, as our research very firmly indicates.”
When asked why they wanted to adopt low- and zero-emission vans, operators had many different priorities.
The top three responses had the environment, finance and image in mind, where 43% said that they wanted to limit carbon emissions and air pollution, 39% to reduce fuel expenses and 37% wanted to improve their company image. At the bottom end of the table, only 18% wanted to make the switch to fulfil employee requests for vehicles; lower than the 22% who wanted to cap whole-life costs or the 29% looking to reduce maintenance costs.
Sadlier said low- and zero-emission vans could bring a number of benefits to operators, including company image and compliance with air quality regulations, Shaun said: “Even more so than with cars, vans are both business tools and mobile billboards for their operators, so maintaining access to cities adopting stricter air quality measures and being seen to operate more environmentally friendly vehicles have definite benefits for fleets that make the switch.”
To download a full copy of the Arval Mobility Observatory Fleet Barometer 2020, click here.