Alphabet, the corporate mobility specialist that manages more than 120,000 cars in the UK, is seeking to more than double the adoption of plug-in electric cars from 4,200* to 10,000 in the next three years, through a new initiative targeted at businesses. Central to this bold strategy is the launch of a new business consultancy service, called AlphaElectric, which is based on a four-step process that addresses the main barriers that have so far hampered the adoption of electric vehicles (EV) in the UK.
At present, UK adoption of EVs has been modest, with only 138 units sold in 2010 and 1,082 sold in 2011. Sales rose sharply in 2012 with 2,254 cars registered by the DVLA, while year on year sales at August 2013 have shown an increase of more than 70%. With an expanding range of plug-in vehicles on the market, a growth in the number of public charging points (now up to 5,000 in the UK**) and further government investment of £37m for infrastructure, Alphabet is confident of strong growth in EV adoption for the next few years.
Alphabet believes that a more consultative approach is needed to dispel many of the myths about plug-in vehicles such as availability of charging points, range anxiety and safety. By focusing on the corporate market as an early adopter, the business, which is part of the global BMW Group, is convinced that more widespread adoption of EVs can be achieved in the UK.
Richard Schooling, CEO of Alphabet, said: “Our research suggests that there is a significant opportunity for the UK’s 29 million car drivers* to take a fresh look at plug-ins as a real alternative to their petrol and diesel vehicles.
“While there is so much talk about limited battery life, car performance and available charging points, we think the single biggest barrier to EV adoption, both privately and corporately, is lack of joined-up thinking. Manufacturers of various new EV models have possibly focused on the benefits of their own vehicles, with not enough time and effort being spent on helping the business or driver to overcome their fears about adopting a new technology.
“Our new service, AlphaElectric aims to walk fleet managers through a simple four step process that takes away the stress and misconception about EVs. We’re confident that through initiatives such as ours, we can easily help to double EV sales again next year.”
Launching at the Saatchi Gallery in London on 22 October, AlphaElectric demonstrates Alphabet’s serious intention to drive EV adoption through corporate and public sector channels. The service, which is delivered by Alphabet’s eMobility team, comprises four key steps and is ‘marque neutral’, enabling the Alphabet team to recommend the right solution and vehicle mix for individual business needs.
The launch event will take business and fleet managers through each stage of the AlphaElectric process – initial scoping, charging infrastructure, vehicle choice and mobility options – providing them with the independent business case and confidence to adopt EVs as appropriate.
While all currently available EV models (both car and LCV) will be available for demonstration ride at the launch event, the UK unveiling of the new i3 electric car from BMW is sure to be a major attraction.