Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming the go-to option for those making fleet vehicle purchasing decisions, with nearly all (98 per cent) willing to pay extra to lease one despite long waiting lists, according to Churchill Expert.
Direct Line Group’s flexible fleet insurance specialist found that fleet drivers are taking action to navigate long waiting times to secure their new vehicle. A quarter (25 per cent) are willing to be flexible with their vehicle trim, colour, or technological specification to receive their vehicle sooner. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) would consider a hybrid vehicle and 23 per cent would consider a different model or used vehicle if it arrived quicker.
Supply chain disruption has resulted in 80 per cent of fleet drivers experiencing significant wait times when leasing new EVs in the past year. The average waiting time between signing the lease and receiving the vehicle is over 19 weeks, equivalent to over four months. Over a quarter (28 per cent) have experienced waits of 26 weeks, or six months.
Environmental considerations are among the main factors driving the popularity of EVs. Over a third (36 per cent) of fleet drivers would rather buy an EV because they believe they have a more positive impact on the environment than a petrol or diesel vehicle. Almost a third (30 per cent) prefer EVs because they are exempt from ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) charges, 38 per cent would opt for an EV due to perceived lower operating costs than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, and 28 per cent were drawn by the current tax incentives available.
Nicola Richmond, head of Churchill Expert Flexible Fleet Partnerships, said: “While supply chain disruption and growing demand for EVs has led to longer waiting times it is encouraging to see that fleet drivers are willing to wait, or show flexibility in their vehicle choice, while the industry navigates supply chain issues. Many fleet drivers recognise the environmental benefits of EVs, as well as the opportunities to save money on fuel, taxes, and other charges in the long run.
“As EV appetite grows and the EV revolution gathers momentum, Churchill Expert is available to help protect businesses acquiring new EVs for their fleet and support them through this journey.”