New research suggests that public subsidies are a key element in encouraging organisations to trial and expand electric vehicle fleets.
The study, outlined in the European Commission’s Science for Environment Policy newsletter, reports that potential users need to overcome their uncertainty before electric vehicles can be widely adopted. This could take the form of further financial incentives, but also options such as providing vehicles for testing and educational programmes to build personal experience among fleet managers and decision makers.
The research was taken from interviews and reports from 17 organisations and concludes that the opportunity to test new technology was the most important factor in deciding to trial electric vehicles, while the expense was preventing many smaller companies from purchasing more sustainable alternatives.
Notable reasons for buying electric vehicles were testing new technology, lowering environmental impact, using available government grants and improving public image.
Globally, 225 000 electric vehicles have been sold, the majority by governments and companies. The French government has plans to procure 50 000 electric vehicles for use by public and private organisations. The report suggests that this outlines the importance of governments and other large organisations in the early adoption of this technology. 
Original author: Alexia
Photo by Janitors