Electric vehicle orders come out on top at Leeds-based Zenith

Orders for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) overtook internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles last month for the first time at leasing firm Zenith.

Ian Hughes, chief executive of the car and van division at Zenith.

Leeds-based Zenith saw the transition to BEV in cars account for 54 per cent of orders in June compared to 32 per cent in the same month last year. Over the last 12 months, 41 per cent of orders were for BEVs.

Demand for electric vans also increased in June to account for 69 per cent of van orders compared to one per cent in June 2020. Over the last 12 months, demand for fully electric vans has built to account for almost one in three van orders.

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The importance of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda within businesses has accelerated carbon reduction plans and driven a significant shift in orders for fully electric cars and vans.

With businesses driving their own sustainability agendas, Zenith aims to work in partnership with customers to plan and build their transition to EV in a cost-effective way.

Ian Hughes, chief executive of the car and van division at Zenith, said: “Customers are planning for a positive, greener future and, in the hoped-for post lockdown bounce-back, we’re seeing increased ordering as the wider economy is reopening.

“In June, year-on-year total car orders almost doubled and we have seen an almost nine-fold increase in total van orders as customers invest in fleet and fast-track their journey to net zero through the adoption of new technologies.”

He added: “Company car and salary sacrifice car scheme drivers continue to be attracted to the significant Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax savings that can be made when choosing an EV, the ever-growing choice in vehicles and confidence in the charging infrastructure.”

Zenith said that salary sacrifice is helping company car drivers to transition to BEVs.

In one scheme, 85 per cent of orders have been for BEVs, with the remaining 15 per cent for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Zenith said it will lead to an average saving of 372 tonnes of carbon for each year the vehicles are on the road. It added that a salary sacrifice car scheme allows all eligible employees to drive a new BEV at a lower monthly cost compared to a petrol or diesel equivalent. And for companies, it is also a positive shift in terms of environmental impact.