The 9th September was World EV Day, the first-ever day devoted to the appreciation and expansion of EVs around the globe. It’s a moment for current and prospective electric vehicle drivers, as well as fleets, policymakers and transport authorities, to recognise the crucial role EVs play – and will continue to play – along the Road to Zero.
World EV Day has been organised by the sustainability media company Green.TV, and supported by a wide range of partners, including the AA, DPD, Climate Group EV100, SSE, National Grid, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Polestar and ALD Automotive.
Climate Change is a reality, and we, as a leading vehicle leasing company understand the important role we can play in helping both fleets and individual drivers move to greener vehicles. In the UK, the Government wants to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This will not be achievable without cleaner road transport, which currently accounts for around a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why the Government also has a separate goal to ban the sale of all tailpipe polluting cars within the next 15 – 20 years
We are already seeing the policies by which the Government hopes to encourage this change. In the last few years, the system of Company Car Tax (CCT) has been restructured to allow for much lower rates for low-emission vehicles; other taxes, such as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), have been more closely tied to carbon dioxide emissions; and Clean Air Zones (CAZs) have been introduced around the country to combat harmful air pollutants. And that’s before we consider the massive investments being made in the country’s electric infrastructure, as well as grants for electric motorists.
Although the automotive industry has faced many difficulties this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the EV market continues to grow impressively. In July, registrations of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) were 137% higher than in the same month last year and accounted for almost a fifth of the market overall.
This growth has surely been helped by the introduction of more electric vehicles into the market. We are very aware of the success of Tesla, but there are also a growing number of new global entrants, such as Polestar, Nio, Arrival and Rivian, as well as traditional manufacturers, including Ford, BMW, VW and Mercedes, all bringing new EVs to market
What’s more, manufacturers continue to innovate in making electric motoring accessible to more drivers. Consider “range anxiety”, the concern that electric vehicles cannot travel far enough before running out of charge. Back when the battery technology was not much developed, this was a very understandable concern. But now, thanks to advances in that tech, range anxiety can become a thing of the past. Even modest electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, can now travel around 230 miles on a single charge.
Perhaps one of the biggest impacts on fleets is that company car drivers opting for EVs will see their Company Car Tax reduced to 0 per cent tax for 2020/21
And, of course, you won’t need to travel 230 miles to find power. There are now over 33,500 public charge points around the UK, a 220% increase on the total from five years ago. And a growing proportion of these are rapid chargers, which can bring most electric vehicles to 80% charge in about 30 to 60 minutes – or even quicker in the case of the newer “ultra-rapid” varieties. It’s also becoming easier to locate charging points through the plethora of available Apps and mapping solutions, including Google Maps.
These trends – towards greater choice, longer battery life, better infrastructure and changes in national and local government policy – are all helping to remove the barriers to mass EV adoption. National and local government policies are moving in the same direction, too.
Find out how Lombard helps fleets in the UK on their journey to Zero, visit our website.