Alternative fuels investment anxiety

UK businesses are anxious about the level of investment required to support electric vehicle infrastructure in the UK, according to a new report.

In five years, 63% of SMEs and businesses expect to be using alternative fuels to power their business vehicles, according to the second annual Operational Fleet Insight report produced collaboratively by the AA and BT’s Fleet Solutions.

Nearly half of the report’s respondents felt government organisations should be lobbying for greater investment in electric vehicle infrastructure to support these alternatively fuelled fleets.

The AA has already trained all of its patrols to be able to respond to and assist owners of electric vehicles as well as joining forces with Chargemaster to set up the multi-brand Electric Vehicle Centre in Milton Keynes.

The EV centre is the first of its kind in the UK that provides information and advice on electric vehicles. The centre also provides free driving lessons with AA instructors to help motorists get the most out of driving and owning an electric vehicle.

Additional revelations include:

  • 66% of respondents support the introduction of more clean air zones
  • 66% feel they have been impacted by Brexit
  • 68% expect Brexit to have an impact on their business over the next year

“Fleets are the backbone of British business, keeping firms on the road and running successfully,” said Stuart Thomas, head of fleet and SME at the AA. “In just five years, almost two thirds of fleets are likely to be powered by alternative fuels.

“In recent days, we have witnessed many of the manufacturers unveiling future electric vehicles or making announcements about a timetable for the electrification of their model line-up.

“We are working closely with businesses to train them to make the most of this electric vehicle (EV) revolution to help them to prevent downtime and loss of income. We join with the UK’s businesses to lobby for greater investment in EV infrastructure to support the alternatively fuelled fleets of the future.”

BT’s Fleet Solutions managing director Henry Brace said: “Insight is the vital component of any fleet manager’s arsenal and helps them future-proof their fleets. Respondents are keen to ensure their fleets are future proofed against emissions targets and are looking to government organisations to support on lobbying for the right infrastructure to help them achieve this.”