‘Dramatic shift’ to electrified vans predicted14 October 2020

Arval Mobile Observatory is predicting a ‘dramatic shift’ in the composition of the European vehicle parc following a survey it commissioned about attitudes toward electric vans.

When asked, half of respondents (50%) said that they were already operating hybrids or planned to do so within the next three years. And for plug-in hybrids – of which a number of manufactures recently released new models – almost half (48%) either already had them or planned to do so in the same time-frame. For battery electric vans, 43% of respondents reported already operating them or planning to do so within the next three years.

Some 5,600 fleet owners of different sizes with at least one vehicle in 17 European countries (including the UK), plus Russia, Turkey and Brazil were surveyed by Kantar for Arval Mobile Observatory.

Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “Even more so than their car counterparts, van fleets wanting to adopt low or zero emission vehicles have been hampered by both a lack of models and limited supply. This can be seen in the wide gap between the current adoption rate and that to which they aspire.

“But this situation is changing rapidly, so with a much wider range of electric and plug-in hybrid vans arriving on the market, we expect to see a dramatic shift. In some respects, these new vans are arguably less popular than electric and hybrid cars because their ranges tend to be limited and are also affected by the weight of the payload carried – but there is undeniably a high level of interest from fleets, as our research very firmly indicates.”

Arval Mobility Observatory also asked why companies want to adopt low and zero emission vans and the responses are very varied, showing priorities ranging from the environment to engineering to cutting costs. Here is a breakdown of the reasons given with their relative popularity:

43% Limit carbon emissions and air pollution

39% Reduce fuel expenses

37% Improve their company image

35% Anticipate restrictive public policies

33% To be able to drive in emissions-control zones

32% To comply with CSR (corporate social responsibility) policy

30% For tax incentives

29% Reduce mainteancne costs

22% To cap whole-life costs

18% To fulfil employee requests

William Dalrymple

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