September 2, 2020

We have seen a significant increase in interest in electric vans/light commercial vehicles (e-LCVs) in recent months. This blog examines the two main factors driving the new level of interest and demand, and offers pointers for companies that may be struggling to make the transition.

2 reasons demand for eLCVs is increasing

During the coronavirus pandemic, businesses with LCVs have played a vital role in maintaining essential services, such as frontline emergency support and deliveries of food and medicines. At the same time, we are seeing interest growing in a new type of LCV: the fully electric light commercial vehicle.

I think the reason behind the awakened appetite for e-LCVs is twofold.

Firstly, many towns and cities across Europe have long been battling congestion and air pollution, and the pressure is further increasing with the growth of ‘last-mile’ delivery services in urban centres. To tackle this problem, governments across Europe are stimulating the transition to electric driving in a push to achieve as many zero-emission miles as possible – and as fast as possible. Secondly, there are numerous subsidies, tax credits, rebates and government grants to encourage fleets towards a more sustainable future. With the various incentive programmes at a peak level now, it’s a great time to take advantage of such financial benefits.

Unfounded hesitation

Perhaps surprisingly, however, the huge number of incentives is one reason why some of our existing LCV fleet clients and prospects are hesitant about transitioning from traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) powertrains to either full-electric or hybrid LCVs. To help you navigate this maze, we have produced a white paper which provides insightful information about the world of e-LCVs. Within that white paper, we go into a lot of detail about the rebates, subsidies, grants and availability of e-LCVs. Some incentives are offered as a discount at the time of purchase of the vehicle and/or the installation of the charge point, for example, in which case we at LeasePlan help to coordinate this.

 

Real-life advantages

Another reason for hesitation among some fleet managers is that they anticipate driver reluctance to e-LCVs. However, in reality that reluctance is often unfounded and is largely driven by fear of the unknown or misconceptions about the availability of vehicle models, charging infrastructure and the real-life advantages of e-LCVs. The benefits include no tailpipe emissions, quick acceleration, almost silent in-cab driving environment, automatic driving mode, and home and workplace charging that means no time wasted at fuel stations.

 

Added to the above advantages, research shows that drivers of electric vehicles have 16% lower stress levels, so there’s clearly not only sound business and economic reasons to transition your fleet from ICE, but personal and social reasons for doing so too. Within the white paper, we present some feedback from e-LCV drivers, including how almost two thirds of them say that they’d never want to go back to driving an ICE LCV.

How to make the transition

Download the white paper to learn about the real benefits of e-LCVs and how to tackle the potential obstacles on the route to transition. You can also contact us for expert advice and guidance on how leasing e-LCVs can have a positive impact on your fleet operations and overall business efficiency.

Download white paper
 

Author: Mark Lovett

Head of Commercial Vehicles