UK business is playing a critical role in supporting the government’s ambitious net zero strategy. So says a new report by Europcar Mobility Group UK. Called Switching Sustainability from Buzzword to Business Benefit, the study of 300 fleet and business travel decision makers found that more than half of workplaces already provide charging facilities and 52% contribute to the cost of at-home charging for their employees.
Mark Newberry, commercial director and sustainability spokesperson at Europcar Mobility Group UK, said: “As the government plays catch-up with its newly announced £381m Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund and On-Street Residential Charging Scheme, it is encouraging to see how private sector business is already stepping up to the mark to support the road to net zero.”
As well as providing workplace charging and financial support to make charging at home attainable for employees, the Europcar research found that 50% of businesses also provide EV drivers with company charging cards for charging in other locations. Those businesses not currently providing EV charging at the workplace are also planning ahead to reduce their environmental impact. Indeed, of those businesses not currently providing charging facilities on-site, 88% believe this will “definitely” or “probably” change within the next three years.
“The businesses taking the initiative to install their own charging infrastructure should be applauded”, said Newberry. “But, of course, charging infrastructure is not the only barrier to EV adoption by businesses. The well reported supply issues and lack of understanding about the total cost of ownership are other factors cited in our research, as well as the need to win the hearts and minds of the drivers themselves.
“Europcar clients often say that employees resist moving to EV because they believe it will impact their productivity and potentially even their earnings. This highlights a need for much more education and greater understanding around what is fit for purpose for drivers for the majority of time.”
However, even in the face of these hurdles, the Europcar study found that businesses are looking at sustainability targets directly related to mobility.
Nearly a third (29%) said their aim is to increase the use of alternative mobility solutions such as cycling and walking. This was closely followed by increasing the number of EVs on fleet (28%) and an overall reduction in business travel (26%).