Fleet operators are key to driving rapid adoption of electric vehicles in the UK and should be given the tools, information and incentives required to switch from petrol and diesel models.

That’s the headline claim in a new report, ‘Electric Vehicles: Innovation Towards an Excellent User Experience’, from Digital Catapult and Connected Places Catapult on behalf of Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the Government.

The report comes just two weeks after the Government published new company car benefit-in-kind tax rates for the three years 2020/21 to 2022/23 designed to accelerate the shift to zero emission cars. All zero emission models are to be 0% rated in 2020/21 – slashed from 16% in 2019/20 – before rising to 1% in 2021/22 and 2% in 2022/23.

Fleet managers that switch their vehicles to plug-in quickly will create a significant early impact on reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, demand is generated for the charging infrastructure and data can be captured to help drive the private vehicle market as the Government targets 2040 as the date for the sale of all new cars to be zero emission, according to the report.

Alan Nettleton, senior technologist at the Connected Place Catapult said: “Electrification of our road vehicle fleet will be vital in addressing challenges such as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, along with measures to encourage walking, cycling and public transport.

“We need to think carefully around how to make electric vehicles an attractive prospect to both individuals and fleet operators. This includes making the experience easy and intuitive, whilst at the same time capitalising on the great driving experience electric vehicles offer.”

The full report is available here.Electric Vehicle Charging