Van fleets should plan for EV transition now

Van fleets should plan for EV transition now

05 January 2022 | Kate Kozlowska | 4 min read

It is recommended that fleet operators begin planning for electric commercial vehicles' arrival in 2022 if they haven't already.

Arval UK warns there is likely to be a shortage of these vehicles this year, and companies that plan ahead of time are more likely to place electric van orders and help secure their supply.

Fleets must plan for the EV switch in advance

Commercial director of Arval UK, Paul Hyne, said: “We’re keen to help LCV fleets to plan ahead for their needs, as we know electric van adoption is lagging well behind that of electric cars. That’s likely to be for a number of reasons, ranging from low production numbers and current vehicle choice, to the absence of a clear and obvious tax incentive such as the benefit-in-kind situation with cars.

“However, as the production of diesel vans, just like cars, ends in 2030, fleets need to be examining in detail how to begin the process of electrification, if they’re not already doing so. Next year is a good time to take that step and order vehicles to help secure availability ahead of supplies potentially increasing in 2023.”

Larger van fleets generally seem to be ahead of smaller ones

Arval is finding that larger van fleets tend to be more forthcoming with their plans to introduce electric vehicles (EVs).

Hyne further explained: “Many larger businesses that have put successful electric company car policies in place and are now focusing their attention on electrifying their vans.

“The general findings so far are that eLCV adoption is probably going to be trickier for many than cars – but it’s easily possible with a plan and starting the process of getting vehicle orders placed. We’re already seeing a situation where electric car whole life costs are comparable, or in some cases more favourable than ICE vehicles, but this is currently not as clear for van fleets.

“Operational questions are sometimes not always as easy to answer either, such as how to access overnight charging for van drivers without off-street parking and how to quickly charge vans that are used regularly for longer journeys.

“There are solutions to all of these questions, but they do require more consideration and planning than electric car adoption – this is something that we will continue to help our customers to work through over the next year.”

Performing feasibility studies and trials with a small number of vans can help fleets develop effective policies for electrification and gain support from their drivers with 'first-time-drive' experiences.

Reduction in electric van grant 

Due to changes to the plug-in van grant in December 2021, switching to EVs has become more expensive. For small vans with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 2.5 tonnes or less, the grant provided fleets with 35% off the purchase price up to a maximum of £3,000. This has now been reduced to £2,500. Larger vans, with GVW of 2 to 3,5 tonnes, have also seen their grants reduced, from a maximum of £6,000 to £5,000. The reduction marked the second cut to electric vehicle grants in 2021. However, the first grant reduction in March 2021 did not affect electric van uptake - in fact, the appetite for electric vans grew. We are confident that electric van leasing will become even more popular in 2022.

 

You won't be able to commence a new lease for a diesel or petrol van in 8 years, as new sales will have ceased. It might seem like a long time away but if you have a fleet of vans, it's wise to plan ahead so that you aren't caught off guard. Let's discuss your electric van needs today

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