BT launches company car scheme for EVs

Telecoms giant BT has launched its first company car scheme for fully-electric vehicles (EVs) in a bid to incentivise sustainable travel among its staff cohort.

Under the scheme, which launched on Tuesday (20th November), BT will offer more than 3,000 of its UK-based staff financial assistance with purchasing a fully-electric company car.

To support this EV uptake, the company has offered new training on EV diagnostics and repair to engineers working within its Fleet Solutions division. According to BT, this “upskilling” will also help encourage the switch to EVs among the companies that Fleet Services offers support to.

“The move to pure EV is one we have been seeing for some time, with the number of staff who drive diesel vehicles dropping in favour of more uptake in plug-in hybrids,” BT Fleet Solutions’ managing director Henry Brace said.

“As a forward-looking technology business, BT has had an internal community of alternative fuel vehicle supporters for some time, who will no doubt be front of the line to secure their EV models – but we believe EVs will be popular with all of our company car base.”

Under the scheme, BT employees will be given support to purchase BMW i3s, Hyundai Ioniqs, Renault ZOEs, Jaguar i-Paces, Smart FourFours and Volkswagen e-golfs.

Operational Fleet Report

The announcement from BT comes shortly after its Fleet Solutions arm published its annual Operational Fleet Report, documenting the accelerating pace of EV uptake among the UK’s fleet sector.

Published last month and produced in association with motoring body the AA, the report reveals the results of a survey on attitudes towards EVs, autonomous vehicles and current transport policies, which was carried out among 1,000 UK-based fleet management professionals earlier this year.

Of the survey respondents, more than half (56%) argued that fully or hybrid-electric vehicles will be more widely used than petrol and diesel vehicles across the UK by 2028.

However, less than a third (31%) said they were already investing in EVs within their own fleets, with most of these professionals citing a lack of progress among the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and van sectors as a key barrier to electrification. Indeed, more than two thirds (68%) said that the quality and functionality of electric cars is currently better than for larger vehicles.

Taking all of these trends into account, the report concludes that 19% more fleet managers will be operating fully-electric fleets in five years’ time than there are in 2018, while a further 16% will remove diesel from their portfolio within the same timeframe.

“The level of uncertainty and apprehension which is always seen before a big change can be felt in every fleet across the UK,” BT Fleet Solutions’ Brace added.

“Although there are challenges to overcome, we believe if manufacturers, Government, fleet operators and fuel providers all work together, we can deliver cleaner air without damaging efficiency or competitiveness.”

BT at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum

BT’s head of sustainable business policy Gabrielle Giner will appear at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum to offer advice to companies wishing to set a science-based emissions reductions target in line with a 1.5C trajectory. She will be joined by representatives from Tesco and Carlsberg – two of the other three companies to have set such an aim. 

The two-day event, taking place 5 & 6 February 2019 at the Building Design Centre, London, will also include debates on how to solve the plastics crisis and the state of corporate action on sustainable packaging. 

For more information and to register for the Forum, click here.

Sarah George

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