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AX is launching a unique electric vehicle test drive initiative to help boost demand for EVs and give petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicle drivers the opportunity to experience what the electrification transition is like.

EValuate by AX is a replacement vehicle service that enables internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle drivers to access an electric vehicle for an extended period while their own car is being repaired following an accident.

With average repair periods increasing due to the complexity of modern vehicles and global supply chain issues impacting access to parts, the EValuate test drive initiative provides drivers of combustion engine cars with an immersive, real-world EV test drive while their vehicle is off the road.

Introduced to help boost the sustainability credentials of AX’s insurer, fleet and dealership partners while supporting the UK’s transition away from petrol and diesel vehicles, the initiative could see the 40,000 motorists AX handles annually experience what it is like to live with an EV.

Revealing considerable appetite to sample EVs in the real-world, an AX survey found that 44%[i] of motorists think that an EV replacement is an effective way of testing out EV ownership. The survey also revealed that over 18% of motorists are considering purchasing an EV as their next car.


Initiative could help stimulate EV market share which has slipped in recent months

Despite the battery electric vehicle (BEV) market share rising to 17.6% in May[ii], this was sustained entirely by fleet and business buyers as private retail demand continues to drop – only around one in six new BEVs bought this year have gone to consumers.

Flagging retail EV sales makes it more challenging for manufacturers to meet the government’s zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate requiring them to boost zero emission vehicle production to 22% in 2024.

However, a recent study suggests that 91%[iii] of EV drivers would not consider returning to a vehicle with a combustion engine. AX will use its diverse fleet of 5,000 vehicles and unique partnerships with vehicle manufacturers to enable consumers to experience an EV replacement while their vehicle is being repaired following an accident.

Dan Cripps, Director of Fleet & Logistics at AX, added: “Our fleet is evolving as the nation embraces alternatively fuelled vehicles. By offering motorists the opportunity to test an EV for an extended period in their real-world environment, we can help boost private buyer demand and encourage more people to embrace electric vehicles. Having transitioned to an EV twelve months ago, I know there are adjustments to make but these will be understood and overcome quite quickly.”


Drivers can access a comparable vehicle if theirs is off the road due to a non-fault accident

In the UK, drivers are entitled to an equivalent replacement vehicle if they are involved in an accident that is not their fault. EValuate gives drivers access to an EV for 28 days[iv] on average while their vehicle is being assessed and repaired.

Scott Hamilton-Cooper, Chief Commercial Officer at AX, said: “Introducing EValuate could have a positive impact on the UK’s transition from fossil fuel powered cars to zero emission vehicles. Our industry is uniquely placed to provide consumers a real-world experience of an EV for a prolonged period, which is significantly longer than traditional test drive schemes.

“It is a first in the accident aftercare sector and while giving consumers a far more immersive experience of an EV compared to a typical test drive, it will also help our partners to achieve their sustainability goals.”

Scott Hamilton-Cooper, Chief Commercial Officer at AX

“It will bring down average CO2 emissions for our business while helping the fleets, insurers, and dealers we work with to minimise their environmental impact, too. Even if drivers do not go on to purchase an EV, for the duration of the hire period there is a significantly lower environmental impact.”

EValuate will also be available through the modular incident management provider Motor Assist.



[i] A survey of 570 drivers conducted by AX found that 44% of respondents said that an EV replacement vehicle is a good way of testing out EV ownership.

[ii] Data from the SMMT https://www.smmt.co.uk/2024/06/new-car-market-holds-steady-as-fleets-drive-growth/

[iii] Report from EVA England https://www.evaengland.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/EVAE-the-great-ev-charging-report.pdf

[iv] Average period for owner’s vehicle to be repaired and returned to the road is 28 days.