OVO Energy, Oxford City Council, Santander UK, Swansea University and Gatwick Airport are among the latest private and public sector organisations to become ‘Go Ultra Low Companies’ – signing-up to a clean, green motoring future by embracing electric vehicles.
These companies join more than 100 other organisations across the country that have already signed up to the initiative, such as Britvic, London Fire Brigade and Microsoft UK. Each has pledged that EVs will make up at least 5% of their vehicle fleet by 2020.
Many companies have ambitions to exceed this target: Santander UK, for example, currently operates 57 electric vehicles and wants them to represent 10% of its 1,400-strong fleet by 2020, while Oxford City Council says that 7% of its total fleet will be 100% electric by the end of the decade.
According to the survey of UK company car drivers commissioned by Go Ultra Low in November 2016, almost 700,000 UK motorists would join the EV revolution, if they were given the opportunity by their employers. The survey found that only 25% of businesses offered electric company cars to employees. Of those motorists who were not able to go electric, 69% said they would be ‘likely’ to choose an EV as their next company car, if they were made available.
Despite these challenges, data from the SMMT shows registrations of EVs to private and public sector organisations during the first half of 2017 accounted for 65% of the total amount – demonstrating the strong appetite for electric vehicles in the corporate sector.
In total, 22,480 electric cars were registered across the UK between January and June, a rise of 14.3% on 2016 and 53.8% up on the same period in 2015. Looking at plug-in registrations across the country, the West Midlands (2,704) Greater London (2,477) and Cambridgeshire (1,928) topped the list of regions with the highest uptake. Greater London also saw the biggest year on year increase in counties registering more than 1,000 plug-in vehicles, with registrations up 68.6% on the first half of 2016.
The new members of the Go Ultra Low Companies initiative highlight the diverse mix of organisations embracing EV technology. Any public or private sector organisation that already uses EVs, or offers them to employees as company cars, is eligible for Go Ultra Low Company status, providing there’s a commitment for EVs to make up at least 5% of their vehicle fleet by 2020, and can apply via the Go Ultra Low website.