Winning hearts and minds in the big EV switch
While decarbonisation is high on the agenda for most businesses, there are still numerous hurdles for employers to overcome to make the big switch. Cost is certainly a barrier. As significant for many operations is how the use of zero emissions will impact day to day productivity and the change in mind-set needed by employees to ensure they can get on with their journeys without delay.
The key right now is for organisations to understand all aspects of electric motoring in real-world conditions. Europcar Mobility Group UK is working with many businesses to provide the crucial stepping stones to a fully zero emissions business mobility strategy, helping them learn about the behaviour changes necessary before making a wholesale change to EV.
Responding to employee pressure
There’s no question that employers are feeling the pressure from their drivers to make the transition to zero a bigger priority. A study of 500 company car drivers commissioned by Europcar in 2022 revealed that 35% would consider changing jobs if they felt their employer wasn’t doing enough to be sustainable and tackle climate change. Slightly worryingly, 31% believe their employer is not currently taking the right actions.
However, although fleet users want to lead the charge into cleaner, sustainable mobility, this is a huge task when vehicle supply is limited, and overall fleet operating costs are spiralling.
The other big challenge employers face is to give drivers confidence in the ‘how, where and when’ of electric motoring. This requires a change in mindset for all involved and is certainly being exacerbated by the current surge in electricity costs. A driver poll conducted by Europcar in October 2022 found that almost half of company car drivers who were planning to move to an electric vehicle (EV) have decided to delay switching.
Over half (53%) said they did not have plans to switch in the next year. And fear of high electricity bills has caused 20% to delay their plans to switch. However, 26% still plan to opt for an electric company car in the coming year.
Taking the long-view
Renting an electric vehicle is an effective way for employers and their employees to experience electric motoring in real-world conditions before committing to lease or outright purchase. Europcar is offering a long-term rental solution for electric – Flex – to give businesses the chance to assess the operational and commercial impact of electric vehicle use and to satisfy driver concerns.
Available for 28 days plus with no upfront deposit and commitment free, the Europcar Flex for electric vehicles includes:
- Comprehensive vehicle handover and charging instructions support
- Charging cables
- Shell Recharge card and app – providing access to over 10,000 publicly accessible charge points across the UK
- Access to Tesla Superchargers for Tesla rentals
- The option for CO2 reporting for valuable insight into emissions reduction
Plus, through its partnership with Shell Recharge Solutions, a range of home, roadside and workplace charging solutions are available.
Europcar is also supporting clients on their own sustainability journeys with short-term demo drives. For example, the ‘Europcar electric van experience’ demo programme for the Mercedes-Benz eVito van is giving existing customers the ability to experience everything about zero-emission driving, before making a financial commitment.
CO2 reduction begins ‘at home’
Europcar Mobility Group UK continually takes great strides in its pledge to maximise carbon reduction within the business. Driving this focus is the ‘One Sustainable Fleet’ programme which aims to have green vehicles account for 20% of its global fleet by the end of 2024.
The company was also recently awarded the EcoVadis Platinum medal and became the first mobility provider to have its carbon reduction objectives approved by Science Based Targets initiative and upgraded to AAA by MSCI Inc.
A sustainable fleet
Electric and sustainable vehicles have continually been added to the fleet in 2022, including 100 LEVC VN5 electric vans, more than 200 Tesla Model 3s, the Mercedes EQB and over 3,000 MG ZS and HS range, including EV models, on order. And walking the talk, 75% of Europcar’s company car vehicle orders for its own employees are EV and 15% hybrid. The average CO2 for this fleet is 17g, compared to 114g 12 months ago.
Europcar’s goal right now is to continually add vehicles that span the majority of business motoring use cases, giving fleet managers the chance to genuinely put low and zero emission motoring to the test. Not only is this beneficial for overall fleet costs, but it is reassuring for drivers to know that they work for a company that invests in good sustainable options. It’s key to winning hearts and minds in the big EV switch.