Rental on the rise
Ron Santiago, MD, Europcar Mobility Group UK, talks about the potential for fleets to trial EVs and why more business is heading his way
The EV market is a learning curve for everyone
We’re increasing the number of EVs within Europcar, but people still have a bit of anxiety about switching from traditional ICE vehicles. What we offer fleets is a great opportunity to test the water – to not only drive an EV, but to live with it for a reasonable period. Drivers can get a car from use for, say, three months and try charging it on the street, at home and when they're out and about. Because that is the reality of how they will be using EVs in the future.
We’ve done our research
A new study from Europcar Mobility Group UK found that 35% of drivers would consider changing jobs if they thought their employer wasn’t doing enough around sustainability. So the willingness to transition to EV is there in some form. However, 31% of those questioned believe that their employer isn’t doing enough or taking the right actions.
The vehicle shortage presents an opportunity for us
'Where businesses are looking to transition to electric fully, they are often hampered because of the delays in vehicle supply. So they're taking our vehicles and then holding on to them for as long as they're waiting for that new vehicle to come from the manufacturer. That creates a mixture of some businesses that actually want to try before they buy and others where they've already made the decision.
The taster sessions prove pretty positive
Most people that I talk to who have tried EVs for the first time are really impressed – wowed, even, by the power. The biggest factor they have to get their heads around is the charging aspect. We’re finding that drivers say EVs tick a lot of boxes. We’ve also increased the number of models available, to now include Tesla Model 3s and Mercedes-Benz EQBs, which are initially available from Heathrow Airport.
But when it comes to charging, there’s a solution with Shell on the way
We're providing a Shell Recharge card and app, so that customers can access the Shell EV charging network. That means access to more than 10,000 publicly accessible charge points across the UK. Also, if people rent a Tesla from us, we're providing access to Tesla’s superchargers, which is a big advantage for fleets who are looking to maximise efficiency and minimise charging times. Within the Europcar branch network, we aim to have up to 100 charge points across the UK network by the end of 2022.
As well as the chargers, we’re also building up our EV fleet
We're still in the hundreds, as opposed to the thousands, so we are limited to what we can supply. Between now and the end of the year, we will have another 100, maybe 150 EVs coming. But the plan for next year is going to be more because we know we need to increase our overall fleet to be greener. It’s obviously dependent on what’s available but, ideally, by the end of 2023, it would be good to have 5% of our fleet electric and around 15% hybrid.
MD, Europcar Mobility Group
Europcar is working with industry on the challenges around EVs
We are, through social media activity, trying to support the BVRLA’s campaign on the BiK tax rates on EVs. While it’s not directly linked to us, it very much plays a part in what we are doing and we would like to help and see some clarity sooner rather than later.
“What we offer fleets is a great opportunity to test the water – to not only drive an EV, but to live with it for a reasonable period’”