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FLEET decision makers and businesses should review their fleet requirements and look at opportunities to implement electric vehicles in support of the government’s road to zero target.

Simon Staton, Director of Client Management for Venson said that converting 70% of new fleet sales to EV models by 2035 will be challenging and that it will be vital to look at the whole life costs of an electric vehicle compared to a petrol or diesel as they vary considerably.

He added: “The whole life costs of a vehicle include purchase price, level of depreciation, servicing and maintenance costs, company car tax, warranty and expected fuel expenditure.

“There is a total of 20 parts used in petrol and diesel cars but not in EVs that require inspection, maintenance or replacement over a vehicle’s 10-year/150,000-mile life. In contrast, EVs require no oil changes, air filter, transmission fluid, exhaust pipe or radiator hoses.

“Not only does that make an EV cheaper from a service, maintenance and repair (SMR) viewpoint, because there are fewer moving parts to go wrong, it means potentially improved reliability and reduced off-road times.

“Pure EVs, as opposed to range extended EVs and PHEVs will typically have lower annual mileage and therefore will almost certainly hit date-derived service intervals before mileage intervals.”

According to the latest sales figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), sales of zero emission cars increased by 110% during August compared with the same period last year.

However, whilst the figures are encouraging, it only equates to 1 in every 10 vehicles sold.

Go Ultra Low research found the average yearly spend for servicing and maintenance of a petrol or diesel car is £400, more than four times the sub-£100 annual spend for an electric model.

The saving on PHEVs is not as great but can be around 20%, depending on how many miles are driven on electric power. The more miles driven using the internal combustion engine will result in wear and tear on friction items and greater oil use among other factors.

Staton added: “When it comes to residual values the main consideration is whether the technology in the vehicle will remain viable and is perceived to be something that has a future that will be valued by the marketplace. This will depend on desirability and availability of reliable data.

“Employers can use a vehicle’s whole of life costs in order to incentivise employees to choose greener and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

“Fleets and businesses play a vital role in transitioning the UK car parc to zero emission vehicles and with 34 new plug-in vehicles due to launched by the end 2020 now is the time to review fleet requirements to comply with environmental standards and ensure a solid ethical reputation of a business.”