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Eco benefits are key motivator for drivers to go electric

By / 2 months ago / UK News / No Comments

Environmental benefits are the key factor for drivers to switch to electric vehicles, new research by Mitie finds.

The research saw 38% of drivers say helping the planet was their main reason for switching to an EV

Carried out following the firm’s commitment to switch 20% of its car and compact van fleet to electric by 2020 – the facilities management and professional services company has also recently said it’ll switch its whole fleet by 2030 – the survey finds that helping the planet, including improving it for future generations, was the top motivator for those wanting an EV, with two-fifths (38%) of fleet drivers stating this as their primary reason. Financial savings followed closely behind, with almost a third (32%) of respondents mostly motivated by potential savings.

The survey – which was undertaken to better understand the motivations and concerns for employees, so that the business can help more employees to go electric – also looked at what excited fleet drivers about their new EV. Again, environmental benefits and financial savings came first and second (31% and 28% respectively). However, the survey also showed Mitie fleet drivers are keen to stand out from the crowd, with the third most popular response being that employees were excited to pioneer the cause by ‘having something a bit different’.

The research also showed the benefits of educating drivers on EVs. Although over half (55%) of drivers stated that they weren’t immediately convinced that they wanted an EV – with concerns around range and charging the key reasons for this, the results also demonstrated that Mitie’s EV roadshows – where drivers were offered a chance to meet with experts from Mitie’s charge point partner, Pod Point, as well as representatives from vehicle manufacturers – achieved their goal of changing minds. Two-thirds (66%) of those who had initial reservations said having their questions answered or a chance for a test drive were the key factors in wanting to switch.

And one employee said they had changed their opinion about EVs following a presentation to school children on sustainability. The keen interest of future generations convinced them to do more to save the planet now.

Simon King, fleet and procurement director, Mitie, said: “As pioneers in large-scale electric vehicle uptake, this survey offered us a rare opportunity to gain insight into our fleet drivers’ motivations to further improve our EV strategy. While it’s often cited that finances are the main factor for fleet decisions, it’s gratifying to see that for most employees an ambition to help the planet is actually driving their vehicle choice.

“With ambitious plans to switch our entire fleet to electric by 2030, we hope these insights will help not only Mitie, but also other businesses, take more employees on the journey to electric.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.