A poll has shown the UK businesses are more inclined to buy hybrids rather than electric vehicles. This new report which has been put together by Corporate Vehicle Observatory compares UK businesses to their counterparts in 13 other countries. The results show that UK company fleets will be the slowest in the uptake of electric vehicles over the next 3 years.
UK businesses are concerned that electric vehicles will prove to be difficult to run over longer distances as well as being worries about recharging points. They also feel that they will be too expensive to buy initially.
Of the UK companies surveyed, the larger companies had under 30% who had plans to invest in electric vehicles whereas 61% were opting for hybrid vehicles.
Throughout the 14 countries surveyed, a total of 3500 fleet decision makers took part. The countries involved were the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Turkey, Switzerland, Brazil and India.
As part of their initiative to lower emissions and boost the UK’s motor manufacturing industry, the British government is pushing an electric car network. The government is offering a £5,000 subsidy for buying an electric car as well as developing regional electric car networks in London, Milton Keynes and the North East.
One example of a manufacturer who has committed to manufacturing electric cars is Nissan. In February 2011 the Nissan Leaf is due to be launched at a cost of a little less than £30,000. Compared to its closest Hybrid competitor, the Toyota Prius, it costs £10,000 more.
Even so there is a race on between manufacturers to produce electric cars, partially because of EU legislation. This legislation covers aspects such as limit value curve which implies that heavier cars are allowed higher emission than lighters cars, with the aim of preserving an overall fleet average. It covers phasing in of requirements, lower penalty payments for small excess emissions, long term target and eco-innovations.
As well as Nissan, Citroen, Mitsubishi and Peugeot competing in this electric car race, there is a Chinese company who was originally a battery manufacturer, Build Your Dream, who is now a car manufacturer because of its highly sophisticated knowledge of batteries. All of them and no doubt more will be battling to gain ground in the electric car market.
In addition to the hope to encourage UK businesses to make the electric car switch the transport campaign is aiming to reinforce that sustainable transport is about putting less cars on the road by encouraging other alternatives like public transport and cycling.