A substantial majority (80%) of fleet managers see electrification as both inevitable and imminent, according to new research from Fuel Card Services.

The March 2024 survey gathered data from 250 fleet managers across the UK, with fleets ranging from 1-1,000-plus vehicles and containing a full spectrum of fleet vehicle types including LCVs, HGVs, buses, vans, and cars.

The survey found that fleet electrification shows no signs of slowing down. Despite the rising cost of living, 98% of respondents said they would be growing their EV fleets within a year, with 79% saying the expansion would be happening in the next six months.

The report states: ”This staggering figure could signify that fleet managers now view EVs as a viable and immediate alternative to combustion engine vehicles.

”As battery ranges increase and electric HGVs are trialled, it’s becoming clear that electric vehicles are now a central part of the modern fleet mix - and this survey found that 85% of fleets that include HGVs will invest in EVs within the next six months.”

Nor will encomic challenges impact on this trend, according to respondents, with 60% saying they believe electrification is inevitable and will not be held back by the current climate. Separately, less than a third of fleet managers said they think the economy will delay electrification.

Charging infrastructure at work is also on the rise, the survey found, with the call for businesses to provide EV charging options at home and in the workplace increasing.

Asked how many fleets provide workplace charging points, 90% of respondents said they currently have charge points for electric vehicles set up at the workplace, with over half of respondents already accommodating home-charging tech and only 4% of respondents saying they do not currently offer EV charging options to their workforce.

Fleet operators identified costs, operational efficiencies, and company values as the biggest drivers of sustainable change within their organisations – and that change appears to be happening in real time, the report noted.

Tom Cosway, Fuel Card Services head of commercial, said: ”Seeing that approximately 79% of fleets plan to incorporate EVs within the next six months underscores a widespread belief that a sustainable transition is now not just about company values; it is also about what’s good for business, and for employees.

”With electric vehicle ranges and options constantly improving, and public charging infrastructure rapidly expanding, many of the previous barriers to EV adoption are diminishing.

”Adding to this the clear benefits that fleet drivers gain from switching to electric, it’s easy to see why nearly all fleet operators now view EVs as a no-brainer for the vast majority of use cases, regardless of fleet size.

”In an evolving landscape, fleet solutions and services must cater to the changing needs of business fleets and support them in transitioning as seamlessly as possible.

”At Fuel Card Services, we are supporting fleets with their transition to EV by offering a growing range of charging solutions, including EV charge cards which let you easily access thousands of charging points across the UK.”