A “dramatic shift” to electric power will soon be underway for UK businesses operating vans, according Arval Mobility Observatory (AMO) research.
The Arval Mobility Observatory Fleet Barometer 2020 found that half of respondents (50%) said that they were already operating hybrids or planned to do so within the next three years.
Almost half (48%) of respondents said they already operating plug-in hybrids or planned to operate them within the same timeframe.
For battery electric vans, 43% of respondents reported already operating them or planning to do so within the next three years.
Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval Mobility Observatory 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."
Watch: Fleet News editor-in-chief Stephen Briers interview Shaun Sadlier about 2020's research findings
Arval Mobility Observatory also asked why companies want to adopt low and zero emission vans and found the top three responses had the environment, finance and image in mind.
43% said that they wanted to limit carbon emissions and air pollution, 39% to reduce fuel expenses and 37% wanted to improve their company image. Only 18% wanted to make the switch to fulfil employee requests for vehicles.
Sadlier said: “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.”
“Vans are both business tools and mobile billboards for their operators, so maintaining access to cities adopting stricter air quality measures and being seen to operate more environmentally friendly vehicles have definite benefits for fleets that make the switch.”