The growing demand for e-LCVs in post-Covid

And why it's the right time to switch

October 12, 2020

Mark Lovett
Head of Commercial Vehicles (Europe), LeasePlan

As Head of Commercial Vehicles for the LeasePlan group, I’ve seen over recent months a significant increase in activity around electric light commercial vehicles / vans (e-LCVs).
It’s apparent that during the global Coronavirus pandemic, not only have LCVs played a vital role in maintaining essential services and businesses such as online deliveries / couriers, pharmaceutical and front-line emergency support, but the need to reduce the operating costs of these business-critical vehicles has also awakened a real appetite for zero emission LCVs.

This is where e-LCVs come under the spotlight and it’s very noticeable just how many of our existing LCV fleet clients and prospects are reaching out to us - to enquire about the feasibility of them transitioning from traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) powertrains to either full electric or hybrid for their LCV fleets.

As a leading LCV lease provider, it behoves us to offer expert advice and guidance to our clients. Often the transition from ICE to e-LCV can seem somewhat scary for LCV fleet operators and fleet managers. In many instances, they’re venturing into unchartered territory - and there’s a fear that getting it wrong could have significant negative impacts on their fleet operations and overall business efficiency.With around 5,000 e-LCVs on our fleet, we believe that we’re well placed to provide the advice and expertise that is needed by our clients to help them on their ICE to e-LCV journey.

during the global Coronavirus pandemic, not only have LCVs played a vital role in maintaining essential services and businesses such as online deliveries / couriers, pharmaceutical and front-line emergency support, but the need to reduce the operating costs of these business-critical vehicles has also awakened a real appetite for zero emission LCVs.

What do I think is driving the increased demand for and interest in e-LCVs?

Well, I think it’s twofold:
Firstly, many towns and cities across Europe have long been battling congestion and air pollution, and the pressure is further increasing as more ‘last-mile’ delivery services continue to take place in the 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 and governments grants in addition to tax credit and rebates encourage fleets towards a more sustainable future. With the various incentive programmes at a peak level now, it’s a great time to make use of the financial advantages.
Some incentives are offered as a discount at the time of purchase of the vehicle and/or the installation of the charge point, in which case we at LeasePlan would help to co-ordinate this. Our job is to help you navigate your way through what appears at first, to be a bit of a maze!

We have produced an e-LCV white paper which will really help you to gain much more detail and information about the world of e-LCVs. Within that white paper, we go in to a lot of detail about the rebates, subsidies, grants and availability of e-LCVs.On the subject of e-LCV models, some fleets anticipate driver reluctance to e-LCVs. However, the reality is that the reluctance is often unfounded and driven more, by fear of the unknown. Within the white paper, we also talk about the feedback from e-LCV drivers and how almost two or three thirds of them say that they’d never want to go back to driving an ICE LCV.

What are the advantages of e-LCVs?

  • No tail pipe emissions
  • Quick acceleration
  • Almost silent driving environment in-cab: automatic driving mode
  • Home & workplace charging means no time wasted at fuel stations

Added to the above advantages, research shows that drivers of electric vehicles have 16% reduced stress levels, so there’s clearly, not only sound business economic reasons to transition your fleet to ICE, but personal and social reasons for doing so too.

I hope I’ve given you a bit of a view from my perspective on the world of e-LCVs. If you would like to discuss please feel free to reach out to me or to your dedicated account manager.

I look forward to seeing more of your LCVs incorporated into our already growing e-LCV fleet of vehicles

Download white paper