Fleet electrification on the rise in Europe

In a recent report, Charles Rivers Associates highlights the current and emerging trends in fleet electrification across Europe, shedding light on the remarkable growth in the commercial fleet electric vehicle (EV) sector and the challenges it faces.
As of 2022, nearly 90 million out of a total 336 million vehicles in Europe belonged to commercial fleets. The report predicts this number will rise to 100 million by 2030, with approximately 50% being passenger cars, 41% light commercial vehicles, 8% buses, and 1% heavy-duty vehicles. These electrified fleets are projected to account for a significant 50% of the total EV energy demand.

While passenger cars have seen substantial progress in transitioning to electric power, with 9% of new global sales being EVs, other fleet segments have not kept pace. The adoption rate drops to a mere 1% for vans and trucks due to factors such as high upfront costs, operational complexities, and limited availability of suitable commercial EVs.

Despite these challenges, fleet electrification is on the rise, with a staggering 90% of fleet managers expressing confidence in electric vehicles as the future of commercial fleets.

The report highlights that the commercial fleet EV sector has experienced impressive growth, increasing by a factor of 11 from 2016 to 2022, growing from approximately 100,000 to over 1 million vehicles with a 50% compound annual growth rate. Notably, passenger cars and buses have led the way, with EVs representing 35% of new passenger car sales and 21% of bus sales in 2022. Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) are also making strides, accounting for 12% of new registrations as electric vehicles.

However, medium and heavy commercial vehicles have been slow to embrace electrification, with just 1% of new sales being electric, mainly due to less attractive electrification business cases compared to other segments.

Despite this growth, EV penetration remains in its early stages, with only around 1.4% of the total European commercial vehicle fleet being electric. The report further reveals that electric vehicle penetration is even lower when focusing on specific fleet segments, with only approximately 0.8% of LCVs and 0.1% of trucks being electric as of the end of 2022.

To meet ambitious net-zero targets set by the EU, Charles Rivers Associates underscores that electrification must not only continue but accelerate. The EU aims to achieve a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions for passenger cars and LCVs and a 30% reduction for trucks and buses by 2030. Achieving these targets would require the electrification of approximately 42.8 million passenger cars, 4.4 million electric LCVs, and 0.3 million trucks and buses by the end of the decade.

In conclusion, the report emphasizes that while commercial fleet electrification is making headway, significant challenges remain, and a concerted effort is required to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, particularly in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle segments, to meet ambitious environmental targets.

Source: Electrifying fleets – challenges, opportunities and considerations | Charles Rivers Associates

Infographic depicting the total vehicle stock in Europe for 2022 and the forecast for 2030. In 2022, there were 336M vehicles, projected to increase to 382M by 2030, with private and fleet vehicles indicated. A 1.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is shown.
Source: Electrifying fleets – challenges, opportunities and considerations | Charles Rivers Associates
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