It’s electric

electric van fleetFinancial incentives won’t be enough to persuade fleets to go electric.

The latest in a series of government incentives to buy electric vehicles will not be enough to trigger widespread adoption amongst fleets, according to fleet operator organisation ACFO.

The Chancellor recently announced a Benefit in Kind holiday for drivers of electric company vans and cars.

Drivers paying the basic rate will therefore be £500 better off because they will no longer need to pay the nine per cent Benefit In Kind rate for their vehicles. Employers will also pay around £200 less in National Insurance contributions.

However, widespread adoption is still some way off due to the technical limitations of current electric models, says ACFO chair Julie Jenner.

“There isn’t an electric car that is suitable for the average fleet driver…the technology is still some way off for electric cars to be viable,” she said.

Tax expert Alastair Kendrick added: “There are real issues over the recharging infrastructure for these vehicles. In addition, costs are still prohibitive.”

In October the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) criticized a new European Commission carbon emissions target for vans.

The proposed fleet average target of 175g CO2/km or 42.8 mpg, which would be phased in from 2014 to 2016, is too short in the SMMT’s view, as it does not take into account the industry’s seven-year product development cycles. It called for a more realistic framework for emission reductions.