11 UK organisations are among the first to gain ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status for their early adoption of electric cars – and one, London Fire Brigade’s car fleet, is to become fully 100% electric later this year.
Launched by the Go Ultra Low campaign, the new ‘Company’ status is intended to help encourage more UK businesses to switch into electric cars. Already, it reports, there are 36% more EVs being registered today than at the same time a year ago.
The initiative requires companies to demonstrate a commitment for EVs to make up at least 5% of their fleet by 2020 – mirroring the UK government target that EVs will represent 5% of UK new car registrations by then.
One large Go Ultra Low Company, Microsoft UK, has already achieved this: the fleet is 6% EV today, and will be 20% EV by 2017.
“The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles,” said transport minister Andrew Jones, “and our long-term economic plan is investing £600 million by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs and achieve our goal of every new car and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2040.”
Between January to April, 13,065 plug-in cars were registered in the UK, an increase of 30% – and that 36% growth for businesses shows fleets are outpacing the UK average. Two-thirds of electric vehicles currently sold are going to corporate and public sector organisations.
Business car users seem to like them, too. Microsoft UK car benefits manager Katie Colledge-Price explained that Microsoft UK first started offering EVs as company cars five years ago as “we could see the relevance of the new technology and the potential long-term cost savings.
“We’re delighted with the response we’ve had and continue to hear from our employees.”