Changing road transport patterns and the resulting air quality benefits have offered pause for thought for fleets and businesses looking to embrace the freedom of getting back out on the road. Our recent AA Populus Driver Poll shows one in five drivers would buy an electric vehicle (EV) to maintain air quality, while last year's Operational Fleet Report highlighted three fifths of fleet decision makers thought their drivers would like to go electric.

Digging deeper, our research suggests one in six UK drivers hung up their keys completely in April, while just one in 20 were driving as much as before the lockdown. This led to improvements in air quality, as well as reductions in traffic and congestion. As a result, in May, four fifths of people said they would take action to help maintain cleaner air, suggesting opportunities for business owners and managers to review the make-up of their fleets.

This sentiment and the opportunity for businesses is backed up by the findings of last year's Operational Fleet Report, which found that more than one in ten drivers would choose an EV as their next vehicle. Indeed, fleet operators commented during the research that once you get a driver into an EV, they never want to go back to diesel vehicles.

We've invested in creating certainty for EV drivers in our customers' fleets, positioning ourselves at the forefront of change to support motorists as the demand for electric vehicles increases. Most AA roadside mechanics are now trained to the equivalent of Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Level Two, and a third of the AA Prestige Network is already EV capable. Our investment in technology continues, with thermal imaging cameras and additional safety equipment. We have also launched an innovative new charge post support service to deliver customer excellence and reliability for drivers as they charge up for their journeys.

More recently, we joined organisations across the globe as a founding partner in support of the inaugural World EV Day on 9th September, a day of global e-mobility appreciation. It recognises the crucial role drivers, local transport authorities, and fleet operators play in driving the shift to sustainable road transport and a zeroemission future.

World EV Day has ambitions to become an annual event and will also recognise the vital role which reliable and fast charging infrastructure, grid reinforcement and the integration of renewable power generation must play in enabling a truly sustainable transport ecosystem.

The ongoing debate and developments around EV infrastructure are key and must also continue at pace if the nation's businesses and their drivers are able to fully embrace a greener future for transport. We're fully charged and raring to go, supporting fleets and their drivers on the EV journey.

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