Reading-based Select Car Leasing reports that the use of electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) by its business customers has more than doubled from 16% in 2019 to 36% in 2021. The transition to greener alternatives for personal use has seen a similarly sharp rise over the same period (from 7% to 15%).
The company has reshaped its Fleet Solutions team in response to growing customer demand for eco-friendly vehicles. “We offer business customers cost-effective ways of driving pure EVs via salary sacrifice schemes,” said Graham Conway, Managing Director at Select Car Leasing.
The focus of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the negative impact of climate change was another wake-up call to act, Conway believes. “Electrifying transport is one of the answers,” he said.
He added: “Individuals can vote with their wallet by choosing electric vehicles, but it’s imperative the government takes the lead. Look at Norway: all-electric cars represent 58% of new sales so far this year.
“This has been achieved by incentivising EV uptake via lower taxes and grants, as well as penalising internal combustion-based vehicles. The Norwegian government gave clear, consistent guidance and incentives, and public behaviour changed accordingly.”
One of the main challenges for the UK is extending the public EV charging network. “Drivers want charging points to become ubiquitous – in city, major route and rural locations – so there’s always one just around the corner,” said Conway. “Both standard and high-speed chargers are required, and, crucially, these charging stations need to be well-maintained to ensure they work when you arrive in desperate need of a charge.”
Select Car Leasing believes action is needed at a local as well as national level.
About Select Car Leasing
Car and commercial vehicle leasing broker Select Car Leasing, set up in 2004 by Mark Tongue and James O’Malley, employs approximately 150 staff across two locations in Berkshire, including its flagship retail store in Reading.