The increasing appeal of EVs is helping the leasing sector to return to growth following the initial impact of Covid, according to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).
In the last 12 months, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for 21% of new cars ordered by BVRLA members, with the total number of BEVs on the BVRLA fleet expected to grow a further 53% – from 137,000 to 210,000 – by the third quarter of this year.
This growth is in the face of continued challenges to vehicle supply caused by the global semiconductor shortage.
According to the trade body, demand is being driven from the company car market, where 31% of business contract hire and 68% of salary sacrifice orders are for EVs.
At the end of September 2021, BVRLA members accounted for about 63% of all BEVs registered in 2021.
Gerry Keaney, BVRLA chief executive, said, “Our sector continues to lead the charge towards zero-emission vehicles, even in the face of a global supply shortage.
“While the shortage remains an issue, in some cases we have seen BEVs being easier to source or having shorter lead times than their petrol and diesel equivalents.
“We have seen the lease fleet size return to growth for the first time in three years, demonstrating the sector’s resilience.
“While this is predominantly due to the popularity of vans, it is notable that car registrations have seen positive performance, marking a significant turnaround as the recovery from 2020 takes hold.
“The positive performance is testament to the quality of the vehicles available, the confidence in the long-term health of the market, and the ongoing commitment of BVRLA members to decarbonise their fleets to ensure the UK can meet its Net Zero ambitions.”