Half of fleet managers (50%) and almost two thirds of fleet drivers (64%) feel “excited and proud” about switching to electric vehicles, stating it is the right thing to do for the environment, but only just over a quarter of fleet drivers (28%) and a third of fleet managers (35%) think they will be making the switch within the next one to two years.

The findings from a survey commissioned by oil and alternative energy company BP revealed that the sector’s reluctance to switch is largely driven by the perceived lack of public infrastructure charging points, with 54% of fleet managers and 61% of fleet drivers’ citing this as a main concern.

In addition 53% of fleet drivers and 42% of fleet managers polled also said they don’t believe the government’s plans for the 2030 ban will be seen through in time.

Covid-19 has also had a part to play in delaying the switch, with 38% of fleet managers who aren’t planning to switch within the next two years blaming the global pandemic as their main hold up.

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Over a third of fleet managers (37%) and nearly a third of fleet drivers (31%) said they don’t anticipate switching for another three to four years. One of the main reasons for this delay is driven by 62% of fleet drivers still worrying about running out of charge on the road, whilst 50% of fleet managers’ main concern is providing adequate at home charging solutions for their drivers.

Responding to the survey’s findings, BP said: “As the 2030 deadline looms large, it’s clear that fleets are keen to embrace the switch to EV but require greater reassurance from both the government and the industry that everything will be in place to support them.”

Matt Dillon, head of commercial vehicles, LeasePlan UK, echoed this view. He is calling for continuing government incentives and a campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of running e-LCVs, pointing out that there now exists a network of over 20,000 charging points and that many e-LCVs can travel between 100 and 200 miles on a single charge.

He said: “Perhaps the biggest challenge when switching to an electric fleet is the significant culture and operational change that’s required. Driver training and awareness is critical, so fleet decision makers will need to keep this front of mind to ensure a successful transition.

Dillon believes further advances in the technology will add impetus to take up over the next year. He added: “To accelerate the growing momentum behind e-LCVs, though, the government will need to continue to incentivise businesses to transition to zero emission vans. This support is what will really make the difference.”