T&E: French leasing giants electrifying slower than market average
Eight of France’s top 10 vehicle leasing companies are lagging behind the market in uptake of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), analysis by Transport & Environment (T&E) shows. These 10 companies represent nearly half of all new cars registered in France.
“They should take their responsibility, announce ambitious electrification targets and be the green mobility leaders they say they are”, comments Stef Cornelis, T&E’s director of electric fleets.
T&E’s analysis is based on market data for the first five months of this year. In that period, the national average BEV uptake in France was 15%. Private households were well above that average (18%), but corporate leasing fell far behind (8.5%).
The analysis found that only two of France’s top 10 leasing companies had a higher uptake of BEVs than the national average: Hyundai Capital France (21.9%) and BMW Group Financial Services (20.9%). However, these two put together represent only 2.5% of the overall market.
In contrast, none of the five biggest players on France’s leasing market surpassed the 15% national average. Those are (in descending order of BEV uptake): Stellantis Finance & Services (14.9%), Mobilize Financial Services (14.0%), ALD/LeasePlan (11.9%), Volkswagen Financial Services (11%) and Arval (8.5%).
T&E points to the volume of the leasing industry as an important factor in the electrification of mobility: “In (the first five months of) 2023, over half (52%) of the new cars registered in France were leased. The 10 biggest players account for 41% of all new registrations in France. They have a crucial role to play in the shift to electric, but so far are lagging behind and not taking responsibility for the large share of emissions they cause.”
One element of obfuscation is the frequent lack of distinction in reports between pure-electric BEVs and ‘electrified vehicles’, which includes PHEVs – vehicles which can have high real-world emissions, T&E points out.
So, despite frequent claims to the contrary, leasing companies “are certainly not leading the way (towards electrification) for now”, says Mr Cornelis.
In a reaction to T&E’s analysis, Arval released the following statement:
“At Arval, the share of our total fleet is much higher on corporates than on private individuals. This is a more recent market for Arval, as for historical multi-brand leasing companies. This difference is reflected mechanically in Arval’s figures in France.”
“It is important for Arval to recall that the energy transition is at the heart of our strategy. Arval is the only leasing company to have set itself a quantified ambition in terms of BEVs at the end of 2025 (350,000), coupled with CO2 emissions reduction target (-35%) for our total fleet.”
“Nevertheless, in our view, while the energy transition is based in particular on the electrification of fleets, the overall reduction of carbon footprint, the adoption of new forms of mobility, new usages for cars and changes in drivers’ habits are also key themes on which we support our customers on a daily basis.”