20 July 2018

Leasing companies to play critical role in massive plug-in vehicle take-up by 2025

Vehicle contract hire and leasing companies, including Activa Contracts, are set to play a critical role in encouraging plug-in vehicle take-up among their customers.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has launched an ambitious 'Plug-in Pledge' that will see the combined plug-in vehicle fleet size of its members, which includes Activa Contracts, surge from 50,000 today to 720,000 by 2025.

By that time, vehicle rental and leasing companies would be buying 300,000 plug-in vehicles per year, forecasted the BVRLA. That represented an increase in the industry's share of annual new plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicle registrations from 36% to 60%.

The pledge followed this month's government reaffirmation of its commitment to increase the number of electric and hybrid vehicles being driven in the UK through its 'Road to Zero Strategy'. It outlined its ambition for 50%-70% of new car sales to be ultra-low emission by 2030 and emphasised the need for the transition to be industry-led.

The BVRLA's 'Plug-in Pledge' demonstrated the vehicle rental and leasing industry's commitment to playing a vital role in delivering the government's goal, said the organisation.

The association's members are responsible for almost five million vehicles - one-in-eight cars, one-in-five vans and one-in-five trucks on UK roads. Due to the number of vehicles they purchase and the frequency of fleet replacement cycles, they will be a key driver on the journey to zero emissions.

However, the BVRLA's 'Plug-in Pledge' relies on the government providing vital support for the adoption of those vehicles.

As recent polling by YouGov has shown, 42% of senior decision makers in small and medium sized businesses who use vehicles, would be likely to increase the number of electric vehicles they use if national and local government were to offer greater support, for example in the form of tax incentives, free parking and more charging infrastructure.

To ensure that fleets can achieve the bold 'Plug-in Pledge', the BVRLA is calling on the government to:

  • Bring forward plug-in company car benefit-in-kind tax incentives now and not in 2020/21
  • Provide a five-year commitment on plug-in vehicle incentives
  • Offer more infrastructure support for businesses looking to deploy large plug-in fleets.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: "Over the last two decades, the fleet industry has embraced the introduction of emissions-based motoring taxes and used the incentives they provide to deliver a sustained and substantial reduction in CO2 emissions.

"Fleets are ready to make a large-scale transition to zero-emission motoring, providing that the government can match their ambition with a supportive tax regime and more help with charging infrastructure."

The BVRLA's 'Plug-in Pledge' was launched at a Parliamentary Reception in the House of Commons, to an audience of members, vehicle manufacturers, sustainable transport stakeholders, government officials and supportive MPs.