The majority of businesses (75%) do not have a clear policy on alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), according to new data from Allstar Business Solutions, part of fuel card provider Fleetcor UK.

The company’s latest research also shows that despite 27% of large corporate organisations reporting that they plan to add AFVs to their fleets in the next three years, overall, 56% of businesses reported that they do not expect to have any AFVs by 2021.

The research also revealed that three-year running costs, vehicle practicality, vehicle availability and initial purchase price are the four dominant factors determining the use of AFVs in business fleets. Despite government initiatives to reduce the number of fossil fuel and diesel-based vehicles on the roads, respondents indicated that government directives are of comparatively low importance when determining AFV use.

Significantly, businesses prioritised certain determining factors differently, depending on the size of their organisation; with 82% of corporate respondents describing environmental concerns as either ‘important’ or ‘very’ important, compared to medium (73%), small (57%) and micro (61%) businesses.

Paul Holland, chief operating officer, Fleetcor UK, said: “The findings from our research highlight the challenges for the development of alternative fuels in the UK. Businesses want to increase their use of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles, but our research suggests that the assessment of an alternative strategy is complex and, given this, many may struggle to prioritise this above their day-to-day operations. This is particularly true for small and micro businesses, which often do not possess the resources to determine a long-term alternative fuel strategy.”

For this research, Allstar surveyed 635 corporate (250+ employees), medium (50-249 employees), small (10-49 employees) and micro (1-9 employees) businesses to gauge their attitudes and concerns about AFVs. The research was conducted in February and March 2018, as part of Allstar’s annual customer satisfaction survey.

Holland added: “One of the most significant takeaways from the research is that, while the UK’s infrastructure requires much development before it is ready to support widespread adoption of alternative fuel vehicles, businesses need help to establish their best options, if we are to get faster momentum.

“As one of the leading fuel card providers in the UK, FLEETCOR is committed to supporting our customers in negotiating a clear path to a future of alternative fuels. We recently announced a partnership with ITM Power to begin exploring hydrogen as an alternative, and we look forward to building on that partnership while continuing to deliver value at the pump to our customers.”