Fleet Alliance has reported a huge surge in electric vehicle orders, driven by both the 0% Benefit-in-Kind rate and the 2030 fossil-fuelled vehicles ban.
The fleet management specialist, which manages a fleet of over 37,000 vehicles, saw a 214% increase in EV orders in 2020 – and has recorded a rise of over 5,000% since the start of 2018.
The increase mirrors national new car registrations figures for 2020 from the SMMT, which show battery and plug-in hybrid electric cars (PHEVs) together accounted for more than one in 10 registrations – up from around one in 30 in 2019. This was despite a 30% downturn in total new car sales.
Such a rise in demand can be seen in the make-up of the Fleet Alliance fleet. Among the orders for alternatively fuelled vehicles in 2020, some 48.2% were for pure EVs, up from 28.5% in 2019. A further 48.9% were for petrol PHEVs, although this figure was down from 68.9% the previous year as pure EVs gained in popularity at the expense of hybrids.
Pure EVs now account for 15.2% of the Fleet Alliance managed fleet – compared to only 3.8% in 201, and 0.3% in 2018.
In contrast, diesel cars have plummeted to account for just 26.2% of the Fleet Alliance fleet, compared with 45.4% last year and 58.5% two years ago.
Orders of petrol cars have plateaued and account for 35.9% of the Fleet Alliance fleet, compared with 35.3% last year, and 34.1% in 2018.
Managing director Martin Brown said the figures show how the current 0% BiK rate for pure EVs has had a big impact on buying habits.
“EVs have seen a year-on-year increase of more than 200% and now account for over 15% of our fleet. “The increase in EV orders last year was at the expense of a fall in orders for PHEVs, which suggests that hybrid sales are starting to plateau while those of pure EVs are clearly accelerating.
“The new EV-incentivising BiK tax structure has undoubtedly played a large part in the switch to EVs,” he added.
Looking at individual models, the most popular is the Tesla Model 3, which now accounts for more than 40% of new EV orders at Fleet Alliance. It’s followed by the Kia e-Niro, which accounts for 9.1%, then the Mercedes-Benz EQ (8.0%), Nissan Leaf (5.4%) and Porsche Taycan (4.7%).
Among hybrids and plug-in hybrids, the Mitsubishi Outlander has slipped from its perennial top spot to fifth place, presumably because the manufacturer has announced it will no longer support the brand in the UK. The most popular model is now the BMW 330e plug-in hybrid with 11.5% of orders, followed by the Mercedes-Benz A-Class (10.4%), then the Toyota Corolla hybrid (6.6%), Volvo XC40 Recharge PHEV (5.7%) and the Mitsubishi Outlander at 5.1%.
Read more: fleetworld