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Martin Starkey

Major knowledge gap as EV uptake set to surge

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Licence Bureau is warning businesses and fleets of an increasingly evident ‘major knowledge gap’ as electric vehicle (EV) registrations continue to surge – up by 217% year-to-date over 2019 according to SMMT figures.

With grants of up to £3,000 available on low emission vehicles and zero company car tax (Benefit in Kind – BIK) payable on full battery electric vehicles (BEVs) from 6 April 2020 until 5 April 2021, business uptake of EVs is a key area of focus for the burgeoning market yet Licence Bureau feels adoption could be hindered by the current information void and subsequent knowledge gap.

Martin Starkey, training development manager at Licence Bureau.

‘Electric vehicles really are a hot topic right now for anyone involved in or requiring mobility,’ said Martin Starkey, training development manager, Licence Bureau. ‘The uptake of EVs is actively being encouraged to the UK business sector with financial incentives, and is seen as a key breakthrough market, but the reality is overcoming the knowledge gap, amongst both businesses and individual business drivers, could prove the greatest challenge.’

Licence Bureau feels the knowledge gap issue is two-fold and interlinked.

On the one hand a lack of clear, transparent, readily available information is resulting in business drivers holding back on committing to EVs due to uncertainty around their suitability.

Whilst on the other hand, Licence Bureau claims businesses should be doing more to support employees with the decision-making process by focusing on their driving profile and understanding the benefits – or otherwise – that adopting EV mobility may have.

The UK’s number one supplier of driver licence validation services believes that the challenges can be overcome and is looking to support its partners with practical advice and insights via its newly introduced Empowered Driving, Empowered Plus EV module.

The 30-minute EV module can be added to Licence Bureau’s Empowered Driving course designed to provide business drivers with the tools necessary to enhance driving safety.

Martin said, ‘There are so many confused messages within the market right now that many businesses and business drivers are reluctant to commit to EVs. However, with the huge investment going into this area it is only a matter of time before EVs become the mainstream and we are keen to support businesses in early adoption.

‘Through education, and dispelling the common myths relating to EVs, businesses and drivers alike will be much better positioned to make decisions based on data and facts in order to support their driver compliance strategies,’ explained Martin.

UK EV sales are expected to reach 131,000 in 2020, according to forecasts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and EVs are forecast to account for a fifth of sales in the UK by 2026.

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Licence Bureau is now part of the TTC Group