SMEs on track to go electric by 2040

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The majority (66%) of small businesses globally expect their fleet to be fully electric within the next 20 years while 50% expect to reach this benchmark in the next decade.

Small electric vans like the Renault Kangoo Z.E.33 have already reached price parity with a diesel equivalent

66% of small businesses globally expect their fleet to be fully electric within the next 20 years

The global survey of 3,257 respondents – which included UK operators as well as fleets in China, US, France, Mexico, Australia and Japan –  was commissioned by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi LCV business and illustrated that sustainability is high priority for small business fleets.

However, the research found that the larger the fleet and the higher the company turnover, the more critical environmental sustainability appears to become. A total of 48% of businesses with a turnover of $100m or more stated environmental sustainability is ‘very important,’ while only 25% of businesses with turnover between $100k to $9.9m said the same.

The survey also found that businesses are increasingly focused on autonomous vehicles and connectivity. When asked if their business was well set up for the increasing demands of e-commerce, 40.1% responded ‘yes’, but nearly a third (29.6%) responded ‘no, we need smarter technology to improve delivery efficiencies i.e. a service where our fleets talk to each other’. And a total of 55% see their fleets becoming fully autonomous within the next 20 years, with 38% saying this is likely to happen within as little as 10 years.

In terms of an organisation’s willingness to adopt new technologies, more than a third (35%) said business efficiencies are the main reason for investing in new tech within their fleet, 21%  said that cost saving drives their decisions, and 14% highlighted their desire to be more sustainable.

Ashwani Gupta, senior vice president of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi LCV business, said: “These results show that the electrification of fleets is increasingly on the minds of our customers – not just for the financial efficiencies that EVs can deliver, but because environmental sustainability is clearly crucial to the future of their businesses. I’m impressed at how optimistic these fleet managers are about the speed in which their vehicles will be fully electrified.

“Renault is the global leader in making vans. Nissan makes great trucks and Mitsubishi are at the top when it comes to the production of frame vehicles. Combined, we are a truly global powerhouse, and working together on connectivity, powertrain developments and autonomous technologies will allow us to meet the rising demands of our customers and their businesses.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.