In spite of the benefits that eco-friendly models bring, fleet managers are reluctant to switch their existing fleets to electric vehicles or hybrids unless they can guarantee an average fuel saving of £483 per car according to recent research.
The Fleet Market Attitudes report by Kia has revealed that fleet managers believe 23 per cent of their fleet is eco-friendly already. However, they predict this proportion could rise up to 42 per cent in the next five years due to future improvements in infrastructure and increased familiarity with electric and hybrid vehicles.
Motives and challenges when buying
It will come as no surprise to hear that cost of ownership is the main deciding factor when choosing and purchasing fleet vehicles. However, the survey also revealed that appearance (43 per cent) and environmentally friendly features (42 per cent) scored highly as well.
As for the challenges that fleet managers face, almost half (49 per cent) said they suffered from a lack of time when handling queries about their workforce’s current company cars. Just under a quarter (24 per cent) reported they had a lack of resources to identify the best vehicles for their fleet, while 24 per cent expressed budget concerns with servicing.
Optimistic economic outlook
Looking forward, nearly all (97 per cent) of the fleet managers surveyed said they were confident in the country’s economic growth, with 71 per cent in agreement that this has an impact on their business.
If past performance is anything to go by, the UK’s economic climate will continue to deliver good news for fleet managers. In the last five years, the average company’s fleet size increased by 4 per cent, while demand for fleet services has also risen by 3 per cent over the past 12 months.
In line with the country’s economic growth, the UK car market has also reported blossoming success. In fact, the majority of this industry’s growth has come from the fleet sector, which is up by 11 per cent to date. According to SMMT data, fleet accounts for 53 per cent of the total volume too.
“Fleet growth has outstripped the market”
With the country’s economy and UK car market both performing well, automotive manufacturers are reaping the rewards. Paul Philpott, president and CEO of Kia Motors, said: “We have been growing strongly as a brand for the past 10 years and our sales are currently up in 2015 which reflects the findings in our report.
“Our fleet growth has outstripped the market, and we remain in a healthy position.Increasing pressures on businesses being green is driving motoring innovation in this area. With Soul EV and the soon to be released Optima Hybrid we are well placed to respond to the gradual build up in demand for full and part electric vehicles.”