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Lex Autolease electric vehicle fleet doubles as incentive boosts demand

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Lex Autolease, the UK’s biggest leasing company, has received more than 2,000 orders for electric vehicles during 2019 as customer demand soars.

The order book was boosted by an incentive scheme that provided £1,000 cashback on 1,000 pure EVs, while it has also received 1,200 additional orders during the year.

The leasing company reports that one in 16 pure electric cars delivered in the UK this year will be a Lex Autolease vehicle, leading to its EV fleet doubling.

Customers have included Anglian Water, EON, Cornwall NHS Trust and Bourne Leisure Limited, while facilities management and professional services company Mitie has dominated the order book as it delivers its strategy of a transition to a completely zero emission fleet by 2030.

It has ordered 560 EVs so far this year for its 3,500-vehicle car and van fleet.

Simon King, fleet and procurement director at Mitie, said: “Having ordered more than one quarter of Lex Autolease’s electric vehicles in the past eight months, we’re proud that our partnership has helped drive our ambition to fully electrify our fleet by 2030.”

King has re-written the vehicle policy to make EVs the default choice for drivers and introduced a scheme to install charging points throughout the business and at drivers’ homes. One-in-five cars on its fleet will be an EV by the end of next year.

Lex Autolease analysis shows the Jaguar I-Pace is proving popular, with nearly 900 orders this year.

Overall, the new vehicles could eliminate more than 18,000 tonnes of carbon from roadside emissions and cover more than 98 million zero-emission miles during their contracts, based on predicted mileage.

Richard Jones, managing director of motor finance and leasing at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “As the UK’s leading vehicle leasing provider, we have an important role to play in driving change and in helping fleet drivers be the pioneers of the newest, cleanest vehicle technology.

“With the regular replacement cycles that come with leasing, fleet drivers are also feeding the second-hand market with low and zero-emission models, which is critical for the country to meet its ambitious emissions targets.”

Business contracts account for 83% of orders total EV orders received by Lex Autolease to date in 2019, with personal contracts accounting for 17%; 87% are cars and 13% are light commercial vehicles (LCVs). 

Lex Autolease funds and manages nearly 400,000 vehicles in the UK. Its parent company, Lloyds Banking Group, aims to be a leader in supporting the UK to successfully transition to a more sustainable, low carbon economy.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, more than 25,000 electric vehicles were sold in the UK in the year to the end of September 2019, a rise of more than 120% compared to the same period last year.

Next year, demand is expected to grow further as new company car tax bands are introduced that slash taxes on EVs. Drivers will see the proportion of an EV’s value on which they pay tax slashed from 16% to zero for 2020-2021.

 The move is part of the government’s Road to Zero strategy, which aims for at least 50% — and as many as 70% — of new car sales and up to 40% of new vans to be ultra low emission by 2030.