Limited Awareness of Fleet Electrification Financial Assistance Provides Opportunity for Dealers

January 31, 2023

The latest Fleet Advisory Hub™ report shows brand leaders in commercial vehicle electrification

According to a new report from Escalent, a top data analytics and advisory firm, a critical driver of electrified fleet adoption is raising awareness of grants and subsidies. However, almost six in ten fleet decision-makers are not aware of the financial assistance available.

While fleet decision-makers expect to learn about battery electric vehicle (BEV) grants from dealerships, word of mouth is the leading source of education.

  • Dealership: 35% expected to learn about grants from this source; 19% became aware through their dealership
  • Word of mouth: 18% expected to learn about grants from this source; 27% became aware through word of mouth

“Fleets have enduring, trusted relationships with their dealer; however, in this scenario, they aren’t exactly living up to their end of the bargain,” said Lucas Lowden, insights consultant and program lead of Fleet Advisory Hub at Escalent. “With a significant gap in expectations vs. reality for decision-makers, dealers have an opportunity to educate their customers on the availability of funds to spur BEV adoption. Dealers need to remember it’s not just about electrifying vehicles. It’s also about charging infrastructure, which is an even bigger part of the investment, and it’s about helping fleets adapt their business operations to accommodate EVs.”

These are the latest findings from Fleet Advisory Hub™, a leading insights tool designed to explore the needs, expectations and emotions of commercial vehicle and fleet decision-makers. The newest report explores BEV manufacturer brand-related sentiments in the light-passenger vehicle, commercial van, commercial truck, and medium- and heavy-duty truck categories, as well as areas of opportunity to support fleets in the transition to fleet electrification.

Vehicle brands are an important factor for fleets considering adoption of BEVs. Legacy brand Ford is the perceived leader for electrification in the commercial van, commercial truck, and medium- and heavy-duty truck segments. For light-passenger vehicles, Tesla is the perceived leader, with a significant edge over Toyota, Ford and Chevy.

While familiarity is low compared with established legacy brands, startups should not be underestimated as a competitive threat. In brand opinion, Canoo is of particular interest as a BEV manufacturer in the commercial van segment. Although the brand has the least familiarity among decision-makers (15%), Canoo is well thought of by those familiar with the brand, with 85% having a positive opinion. In brand consideration, Polestar, BrightDrop, Bollinger and BYD are rising up behind well-known OEMs.

Fleet Advisory Hub is one of the largest collections of commercial vehicle and fleet decision-maker insights available on the market today. Currently, nearly 12,000 fleets collectively numbering more than one million vehicles are represented.

Click below for more information about the study.

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About Fleet Advisory Hub™

The results reported come from our 2022 report on the evolving electrified vehicle brand landscape among four key fleet and commercial vehicle segments—light passenger, commercial van, commercial truck, and medium- and heavy-duty truck—and comprise a subset of commercial vehicle and fleet decision-makers drawn from the Fleet Advisory Hub audience. Participants were recruited from an opt-in online panel of business decision-makers and interviewed online. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

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