New research by Rivus Fleet Solutions and the AA has revealed that, while fleet managers accept the need to move towards an alternatively fuelled future, many are continuing to invest in “more cost-effective” Euro-6 diesel vehicles.

In a survey of 500 car and light CV fleet decision makers for the latest Operational Fleet Insight Report, researchers found the remaining barriers were cost, charging location, charging time and driver training.

A “wait and see” attitude remained prevalent, the report said, although researchers noted that larger operators in particular were moving to “the small-print phase” of adoption.

EVs, in particular, are becoming “a very real option”, it said, and many businesses are looking at the detail of ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘how much’, rather than putting their plans on hold.

The report found that 89% of fleets are still using diesel compared with 87% last year, while 75% are still expecting to be using diesel in five years’ time.

However, 57% of fleets expect to be using EVs within the next five years versus 29% at present, and 53% believe their drivers would prefer to drive EVs.

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A total of 34% of those not using EVs list the initial cost and the time it takes as reasons. Meanwhile, 13% cite a lack of skilled engineers as a concern and 10% the need for multiple payment apps for electricity.

The report also found that 67% of fleet managers think the range of EVs on offer has improved in the past year, but 70% claim there is a lack of consistency between different UK CAZ schemes.

However, 82% of fleet managers support the introduction of ultra low emission zones and only 11% oppose their wider expansion.

A total of 23% of fleet operators admitted paying charges while 24% had moved their fleets to areas where ULEZs didn’t yet exist.