Lex Autolease has seen its EV fleet grow 67% since the start of 2019, thanks in part to its £1m fund.

As announced at the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in September, the first of January marked the launch of a £1m fund to accelerate uptake of EVs, by providing cashback of £1,000 against the first 1,000 eligible orders.

467 qualifying orders were placed in the first four months of 2019, set to receive contributions of £467,000 in total, said Lex.

The business predicts that once the funds have been fully allocated, there will be an overall increase of at least 8% in the number of pure EVs on the UK’s roads.

Above and beyond the orders that qualify for cashback, the fund has generated significant interest in EVs from both business and personal customers, with a further 530 orders placed in three months, taking the total to 997.

Of the total EVs ordered in 2019 to date, 80%  are cars and 20% are light commercial vehicles (LCVs).  Business contracts account for 80% of orders, and personal contracts account for 20%.  The new vehicles will eliminate an estimated 8,400 tonnes of carbon from roadside emissions and will cover more than 42m zero emission miles over the duration of their contracts.

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Leading facilities management and professional services company, Mitie, has ordered 200 electric vehicles to date, with more planned for the coming months.

Richard Jones, managing director of Motor Finance and Leasing at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “The Committee on Climate Change has recommended a target for all new car and van registrations to have zero emissions by 2030.  Drivers who buy a new car typically own it for four years, which means 2030 could be just three renewal cycles away for many.

“I believe a real focus needs to be on helping people to understand their purchasing options when it comes to the fuel types available. As an industry, we should be educating, encouraging and incentivising customers to get out of their older vehicles in favour of newer, cleaner engines. This is where our EV1000 campaign really comes into its element. The first four months of the year have seen almost half of the £1m fund allocated, and an increased demand for EVs more widely.

“Businesses and individuals are behind the country’s Road to Zero journey, and are keen to benefit from the associated grants, incentives and in-life cost savings. With both advances in technology and the growth in the range of electric vehicles gathering pace, it’s becoming easier to find the right vehicle for the right job.”

Simon King, Fleet and Procurement Director at Mitie, said: “Our fleet is responsible for 93 per cent of our carbon foot print so it’s absolutely the right place to start in the fight against climate change. We’re already reducing our emissions with the expert support from Lex Autolease.

“Determined to drive change in our industry, we’ve committed to switching 20 per cent of our fleet to electric vehicles by the end of 2020. Making the move to electric is the right thing for the planet and our people are queuing up to be the first to try out our new vehicles.”