Fleet Research on Electrification

Electrifying New Figures on Fleet EV Acquisition: FCS Fleet Survey 2024

Expensive, inefficient, and hard to implement – is this the consensus on electric vehicles and fleet electrification today? Are EV fleets and electric company cars a pipe dream? Apparently not, according to UK fleets. 

Fleet electrification has been a buzzword in the industry for some time. With government grants, growing benefit opportunities and the need for charging infrastructure all in frequent discussion, the team at Fuel Card Services set out to understand exactly how UK fleet managers feel about electrification, and when it’s likely to happen.

We commissioned a survey of 250 UK-based fleet managers operating a full spectrum of fleet vehicles and sizes. The independent insights helped us paint a picture of the reality of fleet electrification in 2024. Here’s what we found.

1. Electrification is accelerating

Despite the cost of living crisis that has been pinching the pockets of businesses worldwide, it’s evident that the cost of living can’t hold back fleets from adapting to the times and doing so in the immediate future. While the economic crisis might have put EV purchases on the back burner for many private drivers, fleet managers are gearing up to add electric vehicles to their fleet in spite of the impacts of the cost of living.

78.8% of respondents in the survey stated that not only would they be adding electric vehicles to their fleets but they would be doing so in the next six months. And overall, 98% of respondents stated that they would be expanding their electric fleet within the next year.

This staggering figure solidifies that the future of fleets is electric, and contrary to popular belief – this isn’t some distant ambition, it’s happening right now. We collected data from fleet managers operating a diverse range of fleets, including buses, HGVs, LCVs, as well as cars and bikes, and found a new trend:

2. All vehicle types are going electric

One of the most interesting angles in the discussion of fleet electrification is the pace at which we will see HGV fleets turn to electric options. Sure, most people accept that EV car batteries are good enough now to be considered a serious option, but given the weight of HGVs travelling long distances while carrying freight, is it really viable to power them electrically?

Survey results suggest this line of thinking is dated, with 84% of HGV fleet managers responding that they will be introducing electric vehicles to their fleets within 6 months.  Electric HGVs have been making impressive developments in recent years, with companies like Tevva and DAF manufacturing electric HGVs with a range capability of up to 310 miles on a single charge – an impressive feat and one that has significant implications from HGV fleet electrification.

Electric HGV

3. Is the UK ready to charge all of these vehicles?

It’s one thing to introduce electric vehicles to the fleet, but you also need to charge them. Businesses are ahead of the game with charging infrastructure with 90% of survey respondents saying they already have workplace chargers installed. 

Government schemes like the Workplace Charging Scheme have been supporting the implementation of charging stations at business locations and the pay off of these schemes and investment by business is a significant growth in charging accessibility. 

61% of respondents also stated that they support the installation of home chargers for employees either as a gift (28%) or via an interest free loan (33%). For employees looking to make the switch to an electric vehicle for their next company car or BIK vehicle, the availability of workplace charging as well as options for home charger installation will undoubtedly be encouraging.

4. ‘Cost of living’ can’t pull the plug on electrification

The increased cost of living has been a financial setback for households and businesses alike, but has this economic squeeze stopped fleet electrification in its tracks? According to the fleet managers we surveyed, the answer is “no”. While 32.4% of respondents did admit that the cost of living would slow the rate at which they acquired electric vehicles, almost 60% of respondents said that the green shift is inevitable, and the economy will be forced to evolve accordingly.

Contrary to popular belief, EV adoption will continue ahead at full steam, and businesses across the country will continue to make sustainable long-term investments that enable them to cut back on their carbon emissions meaningfully. Walking the tightrope between investing in sustainable initiatives and keeping the books in check is undoubtedly a hard task for businesses but, the UK’s commitment to Net Zero 2050 is being taken seriously by fleets today.

5. Out with the old, in with the new (vehicles)

Despite any consensus that the cost of living will slow the rate of electric vehicle acquisition, respondents demonstrated a keen preference for new electric vehicles over used. When asked what their fleet expansion plans look like, nearly 50% of respondents said they would be purchasing new electric vehicles while only 12.8% of respondents said they would be purchasing used electric vehicles.

The number of new vehicles licensed to fleets and businesses has been on the rise in recent years so this figure might come as no surprise. Nonetheless, the steep preference for new electric vehicles is also demonstrative of a desire to get the best ‘bang for buck’ when expanding electric fleets. Developments in EV tech have seen range capability skyrocket, with the average range increasing 10% each year since 2018, meaning the newer models offer the highest distance per charge and thus best value for money.

If you represent a UK-based fleet and would like to discuss navigating challenges such as charging issues, please get in touch with one of our experts.

Sample Data

The research was conducted by Censuswide with 250 fleet managers (18+) excluding sole traders between 08.03.2024 – 14.03.2024. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.

Fuel Card Services EV Research

Woman standing next to blue car whilst it charges, looking at her phone

Are Electric Cars Safe?

In the past, there has been a lot of superstition towards the safety of electric vehicles. A few viral videos of an electric vehicle catching fire circulated the internet, and their overall safety was questioned. With any new and developing technology, it is wise to remain wary however with safety always at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of vehicles, electric vehicle safety is little cause for concern.

For any potential buyers who see safety as a barrier to purchasing an electric vehicle, let’s look at some of the reasons why safety is not something you should be worried about.

Are electric car fires common?

While it’s definitely a possibility for electric vehicles to catch fire, it’s even more possible for a vehicle using a combustion engine to catch fire.

In a 2014 study, the Research Institutes of Sweden concluded that whilst electric cars made by Tesla had a fire rate of 1 in 20,000, the fire rate in ICE vehicles was 1 in 1,000.

Simply put, a Tesla electric car is 20 times less likely to catch fire than a fossil fuel burning vehicle.

What is being done to prevent electric vehicle fires?

Safety is a huge priority for manufacturers when building an electric vehicle.

Batteries are very well protected in crash resistant frames. They are also mounted as low as possible, and away from areas likely to be crumpled in a heavy impact. This is all to stop any material piercing the battery, which is where issues might start.

A production line with a row of cars being built, sparks flying from machinery

If a cell within the battery does get damaged, it could short circuit and cause flammable electrolytes to ignite. This can cause a chain reaction, causing large, sometimes inextinguishable fires. You can see why the safety of each electric vehicle is of high importance to manufacturers.

Electric vehicles are also fitted with sensors that detect collision. When this happens, any high voltage connections are severed. This greatly reduces the risk of the vehicle catching fire after an accident.

Electric vehicles fitted with noise emitters

Another concern regarding the safety of electric vehicles is that they don’t naturally emit much noise. Whilst this sounds a lot less frightening than the chance of the battery catching fire, it could be just as dangerous.

We are used to hearing cars – we know they are there and which direction they are coming from. We wouldn’t cross the road without looking if we could hear a car behind us.

The obvious issue with electric vehicles is that if pedestrians can’t hear them coming, they could unknowingly put themselves in harm’s way.

Luckily, guidelines in the UK dictate that electric vehicles must contain an acoustic vehicle alert system (AVAS). The legislation means that cars must emit a sound with a minimum volume of 56 decibels. This is about the same volume as a quiet conversation. On a quiet street, the AVAS is enough to make pedestrians aware of the vehicle’s presence.

As of 2021, all new electric cars must have AVAS fitted. Hopefully, concerns about low noise levels will be a thing of the past by the time we get to the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel production.

What happens to electric car batteries in a crash?

Batteries can be volatile, so it’s understandable that there might be some concern over how electric cars will react in the unfortunate event of a crash. While an electric car battery could explode or ignite in the case of a crash, electric vehicles undergo the same rigorous safety testing as combustion engine vehicles, and are just as safe in a collision.

Modern electric cars feature a host of safety measures to prevent the ignition of batteries during a crash such as sensors, circuit breaks, and other system features designed to detect potential damage before it happens.

Additionally, since hot batteries are more likely to explode, these vehicles utilise a range of different cooling systems to keep the battery temperature as low as possible. This further reduces the risk of any further disaster should a collision occur.

How to ensure safety on the road

Whilst we can compare the safety of electric vehicles and ICE vehicles, the overall safety of any vehicle is determined by the driver.

Continuing to drive with 100% focus on the road is the simplest, most effective way to avoid any accidents that could cause fires. Keep distractions out of reach, and always be aware of other motorists.

For fleet managers, using telematics allows you to monitor whether your drivers are being safe. You’ll be able to see which of your drivers are prone to speeding, aggressive turns and breaking, tailgating and other erratic habits. Any action taken with this information is down to the fleet manager, but teaching drivers to avoid these habits will make the roads safer for everyone.

From 2022, all new cars will be fitted with speed limiters in Europe and the UK. The technology can be disabled for overtaking and joining motorways, but data will also be stored so that, in the case of an accident, police can determine whether the driver was at fault.

If you’d like to know more about how telematics can improve your fleet’s safety, get in touch with our team.

Electric car charging stations

AC vs DC charging: what’s the difference?

Whether expanding your electric fleet, encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles amongst your workforce, or simply keeping an eye on the electric HGV market; many fleet managers are now steadily acknowledging and embracing the key role that electric vehicles will play in services moving forwards.

Whichever stage of the electrification journey your fleet is currently at, it pays to know about the ins and out of these evolving vehicles, including how they are charged.

You might be aware of the fundamental differences between AC and DC charging, but do you know how they apply to the charging of electric vehicles? In this blog we will take a look at just that, going over what each of these are and how they apply to electric vehicle.

What is AC and DC

AC stands for “alternating current” and is an electric current which sees the flow of electrons change in direction periodically. DC stands for “direct current” and as the name would suggest it flows in a constant direction. AC is acquired from the grid and needs to be converted into DC to power electric vehicles.

Charging EVs with AC vs DC

When charging an electric vehicle, the type of charger will have an impact on how it charges and how quickly the battery reaches full charge.

Charging at an AC charging point will require the vehicles being charged to convert the power they receive from AC to DC. These types of charging points take the AC current from the grid and carry it to the vehicles, but the task of converting the current to DC must be completed by the vehicle itself.

When charging with a DC charge point, the current is converted to DC within the charger which means the electricity that enters the electric car is ready to use. Removing the task of converting the AC current to DC after the power enters the vehicle means the charge time with DC chargers is faster.

What this means in simple terms is that AC chargers can be found in the form of slow and fast EV chargers, while rapid and ultra-rapid chargers are DC chargers.

Are home chargers AC or DC?

If you have a home charge point installed it will almost definitely be an AC charger. While you could have a DC charger installed at home, it is much more costly for both the equipment and the skills required, as well as the power needed to operate them.

Whilst it sounds tempting to have a fast charger at home, given that most electric cars will fully charge in between 4-8 hours, an AC charger is more than suitable for most EV drivers needs.

Allstar Homecharge from Fuel Card Services

Whether AC or DC, managing charging costs can feel like a troublesome chore for both fleet operators and drivers. Calculating what is owed can become a gargantuan task, especially with a large fleet of electric vehicles.

However, if your fleet drivers charge their vehicles at home there is a solution to help alleviate the stress of calculating mileage for AER. Allstar Homecharge integrates with home charging solutions to calculate the spend on charging at home, so you and your driver know exactly what has been paid.

Allstar Homecharge and other charging solutions, including charge cards, can all be found from Fuel Card Services. Get in touch with our team today to discuss what your fleet could benefit from.

important tips when buying a used electric car

Second-Hand EV Buying Guide

Second-hand vehicles are a great option for businesses looking to expand their fleet without spending too much to do so. When it comes to buying electric vehicles, new models often carry a hefty price tag that can make adding electric vehicles to the fleet financially unviable. Buying second-hand can help fleets of all sizes and budgets to increase their environmental sustainability and get ahead of the NetZero 2050 initiative.

Like buying any vehicle second-hand, however, the second-hand EV market can feel like a minefield. We have put together a quick buying guide for fleet managers exploring the possibility of second-hand electric fleet vehicles, outlining some of the most important things to remember before investing in used EVs.

Service history

A full service history is essential for purchasing any used vehicle, including electric, and a service history with big gaps should be a red flag. While vehicle servicing looks a little different for electric vehicles compared to their combustion engine counterparts, acquiring vehicles you can trust have been looked after properly is vital.

Can you service your fleet EVs?

You’ll want your used fleet EVs to have been properly serviced before they arrive with you, but are you able to continue to service them moving forward? Depending on the size of your fleet and the location of your business, you might find it tricky to find a conveniently located garage that offers EV servicing. Make sure to check the services near your before you put your money into used electric vehicles and subsequently realise they are going to be a nightmare to get serviced.

Battery health

Battery health decreases over time and this applies just the same to electric vehicles as it might to a laptop or smartphone. Many things can contribute to battery degradation in EVs, including the use of faster charging points, overcharging, and running until ‘empty’. While you won’t be able to know if these actions have impacted the used EVs you are looking at, it’s important you get a good idea of the battery’s overall health and charging capacity.

Additionally, you’ll want to know about the battery’s warranty, including how long it lasts and if it can be transferred to new owners.

Cables and leads

We’re all guilty of misplacing cables and leads, and the panic sets in when battery power runs low. It can be easy to survive without a phone charge for a little while, but you will be in a sticky situation should you need to replace the charging cables and leads for your newly acquired used EV. You can replace these vital pieces of kit, but you are going to be looking at a hefty additional price to pay on top of what you have already spent on your vehicle.

As such, make sure the used electric vehicles you add to your fleet come with the charging cables you need to keep them running.


Understanding EV range is important whether you are looking to buy new or used, and will be a big influence in your decision making. Range anxiety is not quite the concern it used to be, with more charge points cropping up regularly and range capacity increasing with each new model of EV. However, when purchasing used EVs and especially older ones, it’s important you understand what minimum range your fleet vehicles require.

For example, in 2018 the majority of midrange electric vehicles had a range of between 100-125 miles on a fully charged battery. Taking into account battery degradation, this potential mileage is lowered by approximately 2.3% per year, making the mileage capacity approximately 86-110 miles in 2023.

Depending on the types of journeys your fleet vehicles are making day to day, this might be plenty of mileage for many fleets and shouldn’t be a concern. However, if your drivers are regularly taking trips of upwards of 100 miles on tight schedules, then this mileage capacity could be limiting and not a good fit for your fleet.


The final major consideration you need to make when acquiring electric fleet vehicles, both new and used, is if your business premises and your driver’s homes (if necessary) have the infrastructure to support efficient charging.

Relying solely on public charge points is most likely going to be unsustainable for any fleet that isn’t very small. Instead, have you considered the infrastructure you would need to invest in? Installing charge points for your electric fleet vehicles means convenient charging on the business premises and can even be subsidised by the government through the Workplace Charging Scheme.

Additionally, if your drivers keep their fleet vehicles at home then there are grants available to help cover the cost. Of course, it can be complicated to manage mileage allowance with home charging, so implementing tools like Allstar Homecharge can help to ensure that no one is out of pocket for charging carried out at home.

Allstar Homecharge from Fuel Card Services

Allstar Homecharge is an EV charging solution designed to take the hassle out of charging company vehicles at home. Whereas previously reclaiming charging allowance has been inaccurate and often left drivers out of pocket for the money they spend charging at home, Allstar Homecharge integrates with most home charge systems to calculate the costs of charging business vehicles. These costs are then charged directly to the business.

Less administration, less uncertainty, and a more convenient and cost-effective way to charge.

Speak to our experts today to learn more about how Allstar Homecharge could benefit your fleet.

Electric vehicle charge cards

The Charge Card Revolution: What Fleets Need to Know

Electric vehicle charge cards are the fuel card for fuel-less vehicles. Much like fuel cards for petrol and diesel vehicles, EV charge cards are a card for charging electric cars and vans, offering EV fleet vehicle drivers a simplified way to charge up and pay for electricity.

In recent news, the UK Government has announced that £400 million is being put into charging infrastructure around the country, a move that will help to facilitate the use of EV for both business and personal use.

With more and more electric vehicles taking to the roads and Net-Zero Carbon targeting more important than ever, EV focused charging solutions are quickly gaining traction. But how do electric charge cards differ from traditional fuel cards? And what benefits can EV fleet drivers and managers expect to gain from utilising EV charge cards to power their fleets?

With EVs becoming increasingly viable for fleet vehicles, fleet managers can benefit from learning more about how these EV charge cards work and how they translate all the benefits of traditional fuel cards to a new format designed for innovative fleets.

What are EV Charge Cards?

The most common type of EV charge card is the RFID charge card, or Radio Frequency Identity Cards. Similar to their fuel-based equivalent and contactless cards, RFID EV charge cards allow you to pay for charging purchases by tapping the card against the charge point card reader.

Electric vehicle charge cards are being used in a similar way to traditional fuel cards more often, and they offer fleet operators a more efficient way to both purchase electricity and manage fleet spending. Like traditional fuel cards, EV charge cards can be tied to specific brands or available for use at a range of charge point providers.

EV Charge Card benefits

With an EV charge card, holders can benefit from electricity savings, and access to a wide range of charging stations across the UK and can even offer savings on traditional fuel, making them a useful choice for hybrid vehicles too.

You’ll find many EV charge cards offering access to up to 10,000 charge points across the UK, with access to rapid charge points too, making them a great choice for fleets requiring efficiency when refuelling. Charge cards for electric vehicles can offer savings per kWh that quickly add up, and with reduced costs through efficiency and less consumption fleet managers will quickly see the economical benefits of introducing both EVs and EV charge cards to the fleet.

Accompanying tech helps make this renewable fuel even easier to get a hold of, with many EV charge cards coming with apps and fobs for efficient charge point location and recharging, helping you streamline your fleet even further. Fleets can also benefit from discounts on food and drink with cards like the Shell EV Charge Card, making it as easy to refuel your drivers as it is to recharge your EVs.

Where can I use my EV charge card?

Regardless of what brand of EV charge card you opt for, working out where you can use it will follow a similar method.

Petrol stations increasingly offer electric vehicle charging points, so finding charging points is getting increasingly easy. If you want to plan ahead and ensure your EV charge card is accepted at a petrol station before you stop, you can use tools like your card brand’s app. These handy tools will help you plan your trips around compatible charge point availability, often with useful map formats.

Do you need a card for EV charging?

You don’t need a charge card in order to power up your EV, often you can still pay by card for electricity for your vehicle, but the benefits of an EV charge card shouldn’t be shrugged off. For managers of expanding EV fleets, keeping a handle on admin costs and being able to manage fuel expenditure efficiently and effectively is crucial – and this makes the right EV card an invaluable tool to have in your arsenal.

Having a suitable EV charge card for your fleet drivers to use not only helps you to reduce the administration associated with refuelling fleets but could also unlock a host of benefits that could have your fleet saving time and money.

How can Fuel Card Services help?

If your fleet is making the switch to EVs and hybrid vehicles, now is the time to consider your fuel card options. Our team of experts are on hand to help you choose the EV charge cards that suit your fleet’s needs, so don’t hesitate to get in touch for bespoke support.