Wednesday 1st Nov 2017
- 62% of fleets now contain alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs)
- 82% of fleet professionals think it's important for fleets to move towards AFVs
- 65% say Clean Air Zones will make them more likely to use AFVs
- 73% of businesses think the Government needs to do more when it comes to green fuels
If all of Britain’s vans and HGVs were to switch to electricity, businesses could save around £14 billion a year in fuel costs alone, according to a new report published today.
Hitachi Capital UK’s Future of Fuel report estimates that electricity would be approximately 15 pence per mile cheaper than petrol or diesel for vans, and 38 pence per mile cheaper than diesel for HGVs. Over the combined 65.7 billion miles commercial vehicles travel each year, the fuel savings would total approximately £13.7 billion.
With efficient vans, trucks and HGVs crucial to many of the UK’s SMEs, Hitachi Capital UK’s report analyses the issues, concerns and opportunities for British businesses when it comes to green fuels.
A survey of 149 fleet professionals, included in the report, found that there is a strong will among businesses to adopt alternative fuels and plans for the future. As many as 62% of fleets now containing AFVs - the most common types being electric and hybrid cars.
In addition, 82% of those surveyed believe that it is important to move towards AFVs. With manufacturers improving technology and governments introducing new incentives, 42% of fleets plan to add more AFVs within the next two years. However, 28% of respondents to the survey said that their organisations should be doing more to switch to alternative fuels, and 73% think the Government can do more, too.
Those surveyed cited infrastructure and vehicle costs as the biggest obstacles in the way of AFVs uptake. Other concerns include electric vehicle range, as well as the availability of suitable gas and biodiesel vehicles.
Many of the respondents think that the introduction of Clean Air Zones – set to be introduced in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton by the end of 2019 - should help. Almost two-thirds (65%) say it will make them more likely to use AFVs.
Robert Gordon, CEO of Hitachi Capital UK, said:
“Our report shows that alternatively fuelled vehicles are becoming a staple feature of British roads, with businesses leading the way in terms of adoption. The challenge is to deliver the infrastructure to make their usage a viable and attractive option for consumers as well as businesses.
“The £400 million earmarked for an electric charging infrastructure fund, announced in the Chancellor’s recent Budget is a start, but there is still more to be done.
“Promisingly, our research revealed that 65% of fleet professionals believe that Clean Air Zones, one of the latest policies designed to encourage the uptake of AFVs, will prove successful.”
Commenting on the findings of the report, Professor Jonatan Pinkse of Alliance Manchester Business School, said:
“We have never had such a great opportunity to advance the development and prevalence of AFVs. Though technologies such as electric vehicles are not necessarily new, this is the first time that AFVs have received such a great deal of support across the board.
“While it is clear that there are still a great many barriers for adopting AFVs, even now the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. My own research has pointed to the need for AFV providers to capitalise on current positive sentiment towards green fuels by demonstrating their value to customers and businesses as a green service.
“This is a truly exciting moment for AFVs. We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the innovation and benefits they are set to bring to businesses and consumers alike in the future.”
Jonathan Pinkse is a professor of strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester.
For more information, visit www.hitachicapitalvehiclesolutions.co.uk/corporate-fleets/insights/future-of-fuel