The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has launched a ‘Plug-in Pledge’, a drive to see members’ combined plug-in vehicle fleet size surge over ten-fold from 50,000 currently to 720,000 by 2025.

If achieved, vehicle rental and leasing companies would be buying 300,000 plug-in vehicles per year. This would represent an increase in the industry’s share of annual new plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicle registrations from 36% to 60%.

This month the UK government reaffirmed its commitment to increase the number of electric and hybrid vehicles being driven in the UK through its ‘Road to Zero’ strategy. The strategy aims for 50%-70% of new car sales to be ultra-low emission by 2030 and emphasised the need for this transition to be industry-led.

BVRLA members are responsible for almost five million vehicles on British roads, and the ‘Plug-in Pledge’ would depend on government support for the adoption of the behicles. A recent YouGov poll of 1043 people showed that 42% of senior decision makers in SMEs who use vehicles, would be likely to increase the number of electric vehicles they use if national and local government were to offer greater support, for example in the form of tax incentives, free parking and more charging infrastructure.

BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said: “Over the last two decades, the fleet industry has embraced the introduction of emissions-based motoring taxes and used the incentives they provide to deliver a sustained and substantial reduction in CO2 emissions.

“Fleets are ready to make a large-scale transition to zero-emission motoring, providing that the Government can match their ambition with a supportive tax regime and more help with charging infrastructure.”

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Transport Minister Jesse Norman said:

“The coming decades are expected to be transformative for our motor industry, our national infrastructure and the way we travel. The Government has shown through the Road to Zero Strategy that setting clear ambitions for industry and consumers is key to bringing about this change.

“We want to work in partnership with industry and businesses to make these shared ambitions a reality, so we welcome the commitment made by BVRLA today.”

The ‘Plug-in Pledge’ is being launched at a Parliamentary Reception in the House of Commons today,  to an audience of BVRLA members, vehicle manufacturers, sustainable transport stakeholders, and government officials.

The BVRLA was one of a coalition of road transport trade bodies to meet with government officials in regards to the implementation of Clean Air Zones (CAZ).