Supporting the Planet with EV
The group, which has introduced an EV strategy that includes a commitment to switch 20 per cent of its car and compact van fleet to electric by 2020, undertook the survey to better understand the motivations and concerns of employees as it prepares to "go electric".
Two-thirds (38 per cent) of respondents to the survey questionnaire indicated helping the planet was their primary concern, with 32 per cent choosing financial savings as their key reason for supporting Mitie's switch to EV.
This was also reflected when fleet drivers were asked what excited them about their new EV, with the environmental benefits and financial savings again coming first and second (31 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively). However, the survey also showed the company's fleet drivers are keen to stand out from the crowd, with the third most popular response being that employees were excited to pioneer the cause by ‘having something a bit different’.
It’s also clear that choosing to switch is not always an immediate decision. More than half (55%) of drivers stated that they weren’t immediately convinced that they wanted an EV – with concerns around range and charging the key reasons for this. However, the results also demonstrated that Mitie’s EV roadshows – where drivers were offered a chance to meet with experts from Mitie’s charge point partner, Pod Point, as well as representatives from vehicle manufacturers – achieved their goal of changing minds. Two thirds (66%) of those who had initial reservations said having their questions answered or a chance for a test drive were the key factors in wanting to switch.
The results also show that pester power is still effective, with one employee stating that they had changed their opinion about EVs following a presentation to school children on sustainability. The keen interest of future generations convinced them to do more to save the planet now.
Mitie was the first major UK facilities management business to announce a large-scale uptake of electric vehicles. As a recent signatory of the EV100 initiative, the group has built on its 20 per cent by 2020 commitment by stating that it will have only electric vehicles on its fleet by 2030*. Mitie has further cemented its commitment by achieving Go Ultra Low company status and signing up to the Clean Van Commitment - a coalition of leading UK companies that has collectively promised to deploy 2,400 electric vans by 2020, and to replace 18,000 diesel vans with electric ones by 2028.
Simon King, Fleet and Procurement Director at Mitie, says:
"As pioneers in large-scale electric vehicle uptake, this survey offered us a rare opportunity to gain insight into our fleet drivers’ motivations to further improve our EV strategy. While it’s often cited that finances are the main factor for fleet decisions, it’s gratifying to see that for most employees an ambition to help the planet is actually driving their vehicle choice.
"With ambitious plans to switch our entire fleet to electric by 2030, we hope these insights will help not only Mitie, but also other businesses, take more employees on the journey to electric."