Company chiefs in the UK say they would be reluctant to invest in electric vehicles for their fleets because of uncertainties over long term costs, according to a survey by Lex Autolease, the country’s largest provider of company cars.

It surveyed 100 finance chiefs and while almost half said they were prioritising the reduction of fleet costs, not one would do so by introducing alternative fuelled vehicles.

Chris Chandler, associate director of Lex Autolease’s Consultancy team, said: “”Fully electric powered vehicles are not a realistic mainstream company car option [now]. This is partly due to the inherent limitations of the recharging infrastructure, limited vehicle choice and availability, but also because of the lack of certainty on running costs.”

Lex Autolease said that while the UK EV market was still very new there were significant variations between the pricing of vehicles due on sale soon. For example, the Nissan Leaf will cost GBP28,350 (US$41,000), while the smaller Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV will retail at £38,699 (US$56,000), not including any government subsidy.

Chandler added that, although many firms want to be ‘green’, they will only take on EVs if they are cost effective.

“To convince board directors manufacturers will need to show that there are savings to be made.”