A detailed analysis of Britain’s largest fleets, their policies and their plans

Britain’s largest car and van fleets are on the cusp of a mass switch over to electrification, driven by wider corporate objectives, according to a new report.

As its title suggests, the Fleet 250, by 360 Media Group, focuses on the policies, strategies and purchasing behaviours of the country’s 250 largest car and light commercial vehicle fleets, which range in size from 370 to 49,100 vehicles. Their combined fleet size totals 599,321 vehicles, including 261,370 company cars (about 30% of the UK’s company car parc) and 283,597 LCVs.

The report reveals that PLC-wide commitments to achieve carbon neutrality are forcing fleet decision makers to adopt electric and plug-in hybrid technologies well before they have full confidence in the selection, availability, wholelife costs and range of the cars and light commercial vehicles.

Big businesses have set challenging deadlines to reach company-wide carbon neutrality, placing fleet in the crosshairs as a high producer of greenhouse gases. This is forcing fleet operators to make a wholesale conversion to zero and ultra low emission vehicles at least a decade before 2040, the Government’s target date of eliminating the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars and vans.

This ambitious timescale leaves businesses facing several difficulties:

A limited selection of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.A shortage of availability of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.The installation of charge points at the workplace and at drivers’ home addresses.A patchy rapid recharging infrastructure that requires drivers to join several networks in order to ensure adequate coverage.

Fleet 250 businesses also highlight the financial challenge of fitting electric vehicles into their existing company car choice bands. Ultra low emission technology currently faces the double whammy of significantly higher acquisition costs and lower levels of manufacturer discounts than internal combustion engines. Moreover, with demand outstripping supply in the retail market, fleets are finding themselves at the back of the queue when attempting to acquire EVs.

There is, however, growing fleet confidence that the wholelife costs of battery electric vehicles will prove competitive, particularly for higher mileage vehicles, where power costs per mile are between one quarter and one third of those of petrol and diesel. Fleets are also factoring cheaper service, service and maintenance costs, as well as shorter vehicle downtime during scheduled work, into their cost calculations for electric vehicles.

For suppliers, the Fleet 250 report includes exclusive forecasts from CIH Research about demand in the new car market over the next five years. The forecasts include the disappearance of diesel models from the small, B segment by 2022, and a massive increase in hybrid sales in the company car rich D and E segments, up 198% and 286% respectively over the next five years, as company car drivers seize the opportunity to reduce dramatically their benefit in kind tax bills.

The study also identifies business areas with huge growth potential, most notably the installation of electric vehicle charge points and access to public rapid charging networks. Fleet 250 companies acknowledge their burgeoning demand in both of these areas, yet few have formal tender or procurement procedures, unlike the sourcing of other fleet products and services where tight purchasing frameworks are in place.

Ian Richardson, managing director, 360 Media Group, said: “Every one of the Fleet 250 fleets represents game-changing business volumes, and as a group these giant fleets wield industry-changing influence. Together they represent more than 30% of all company cars on Britain’s roads, and their commitment to an ultra low emission future has the power to change the face of the UK fleet parc.

“Through quantitative and qualitative research, including published case studies, this report explores the pressures these leviathan fleets face and the strategies they are putting in place to ensure a seamless transition to a greener future, without compromising the essential business functions of their vehicles.”

Fore more information, please contact:

Ian Richardson,


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