No less than 93 percent of Belgian companies want to maintain or expand their company car fleet in the next three years. This is apparent from the annual Mobility & Fleet barometer of the Arval Mobility Observatory, the knowledge centre of mobility solutions company Arval that wants to inform different target groups about the evolution of mobility. More than 8 in 10 of the Belgian fleet managers indicate that the ongoing teleworking policy in their company has no impact on their mobility policy. What is also striking is that - despite the adjusted car taxation - the companies indicate that barely 20% of the passenger cars and 24% of the light goods vehicles in their fleet will be fully electric by 2025. "Fleet managers are concerned about charging solutions at home, and also elsewhere, as well as the significantly higher purchase prices of electric cars," says Yves Ceurstemont of Arval Mobility Observatory Belgium.
As part of the Arval Mobility Observatory's annual Fleet & Mobility Barometer in 26 countries, 301 Belgian fleet managers from various sectors and of different company sizes were questioned about their vehicle fleets and mobility trends.
Growing and stable company car fleet despite continued teleworking
Only 6 percent of fleet managers expect to reduce their existing company car fleet in the coming 3 years. Among the others, the company fleet is expected to remain stable (73%) or to grow further (19%). The main reasons given by the companies are to expand their business (46%), to plan to introduce a shared company car system (30%) and to attract new talent or retain staff (28%) by allocating company cars. According to 2 in 3 fleet managers, the pandemic has had no impact on the size of their company car fleet in the next three years. 85% also state that teleworking has not or will not have an impact on their further mobility policy.
Half of the Belgian companies want to maintain or increase the number of teleworking days of their employees to 3 days per week. From that point of view, they therefore expect a drop in the number of kilometres driven of some 28% on an annual basis.
Half of company cars still run on petrol and diesel in 2025
The study shows that, according to the fleet managers surveyed, half (49%) of all passenger vehicles will be powered solely by internal combustion engines (petrol and diesel) in three years' time. The figure is slightly higher for light goods vehicles (57%). The share of fully electric cars in 2025 is estimated at 20% for passenger cars and 24% for light goods vehicles. Today, half of the companies surveyed already have hybrid or fully electric cars in their fleet. There is no major outlier in terms of motivation to drive partly or fully electric. Fleet managers cited the lower environmental impact, tax reasons, CSR initiatives, image enhancement and anticipation of more far-reaching (local/regional) government restrictions about as often.
Many fleet managers who are not yet ready to start using 100% electric vehicles, still see several obstacles to offering fully electric cars to staff. For example, 28% indicate that there is no charging solution at the employee's home, 24% find the price difference to other drive systems too high, and 22% continue to wonder whether there are enough charging facilities on public roads to meet their employees' needs. In addition, 22% of fleet managers indicate that there are no charging points available (yet) at their offices.
"From the companies that have BEVs in their fleet or will have them in the future, almost 7 in 10 do indicate that they will consider charging facilities at the workplace in the near future, while almost 4 in 10 are considering supporting charging facilities at their employees' homes. Our figures show that there is a wide variation in charging station policies among companies that already have electrified vehicles, ranging from free charging at work, to paying charging at the company station, to free charging installations at employees' homes, as well as others that have to pay for their own charging station."
- Yves Ceurstemont, Arval Mobility Observatory Belgium
Flanking mobility solutions and telematics for safety reasons
Almost 2 out of 3 companies today offer at least one mobility solution such as bike leasing/sharing, a shared company car fleet, the mobility budget, etc... In addition, 14% of the companies surveyed said they would like to add this to their employee offerings in the next three years. That makes 78% of the companies with an alternative mobility offer within this and 3 years. For 28% of them, the mobility budget offers a chance to replace part of the current company car fleet. Other alternatives give the fleet managers fewer opportunities to replace company cars. These new mobility solutions are not meant to replace company vehicles, but to complement them.
The barometer also shows that 28% of the surveyed companies equip (part of) their cars with telematics. The most important reason (44%) is the safety of and the possibility to determine the location of the vehicle. In addition, a quarter indicates that they use telematics to prevent unauthorised use (e.g. in accordance with tax regulations).