‘There is more business confidence in EVs now than before the pandemic’

A new report has found that 45% of fleet managers anticipate an increase in fleet sizes over the next three years, compared with 31% in 2020

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Companies are more confident about the future of electric vehicles (EVs) than before the pandemic, according to Arval Mobility Observatory’s 2021 Fleet Barometer.

The 2021 Barometer was based on surveys from 5,200 fleet managers across 20 countries conducted within the last few months.

It found that 45% of fleet managers anticipate an increase in fleet sizes over the next three years, compared with 31% in 2020.

The main reasons listed for this increase are business growth (61%), employee safety in the context of COVID-19 (29%) and talent recruitment and retention (26%). The most optimistic countries were Brazil, Turkey, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland.

The Barometer also revealed that 39% of the companies surveyed have already implemented either a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or battery-electric vehicle into their business and 70% wish to do so within the next three years.

The leading countries for electrification are France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland.

The number of companies that have implemented or intend to implement hybrids has increased from 40% in 2020 to 60% this year, with an increase from 38% to 53% for pure electrics.

The report also sheds light on the shift towards alternative mobility in the last year, with 71% of companies surveyed having implemented alternative mobility solutions for their employees. Mobility budgets have increased from 14% in 2020 to 29% this year and there has been far more support for corporate car-sharing.

The Barometer also explains that EU bicycle sales grew by 23% across the last year, with electric bicycle sales growing by 500,000 in France and 2 million in Germany. It does, however, accept that the pandemic has had a part to play in this, with reduced public transport and mobility in general.

Yaël Bennathan, Head of the Arval Mobility Observatory, commented: “The pace of electrification is increasing, and that’s a trend we see happening everywhere.

“It’s really a global phenomenon now, not just in the mature markets. In Poland, for example, the implementation of battery-electric vehicles increased from 3% in 2020 to 18% this year.

“Infrastructure is increasing. There are now 250,000 public charging points in the EU, UK and Turkey combined. Although it must be said that more than 75% is still concentrated in four countries; the Netherlands; France; Germany and the UK.”