The compelling and overwhelming evidence for an immediate air quality solution has convinced many fleets to consider phasing out diesel vehicles.
Electric will undoubtedly play a major part in helping fleets deliver a cleaner mode of transport. However, as outlined in research, there are still too many practical obstacles which prevent many fleets from making the switch immediately.
So, against the desire to improve air quality and the challenges of both diesel and electric, is it time for fleets to reconsider LPG as an immediate, viable alternative?
Indeed, LPG is very much in the Government’s plans for the future. The Fuel Duty Escalator for LPG was recently removed, providing reassurance regarding the cost of the fuel and hopefully some confidence to OEMs to offer LPG-ready vehicles directly from their showrooms.
One of the main reasons for the Government’s support of LPG is because of its potential role in helping achieve legal NOx limits within the shortest time possible.
Indeed, LPG produces fewer NOx and particulate matter (PM) emissions than diesel and, unlike petrol, it also reduces CO2 emissions, giving fleets a clear reason to consider its adoption.
Furthermore, switching to petrol will invariably increase a fleet’s fuel costs whereas the move to LPG will deliver similar running costs to diesel.
And, while the charging infrastructure for EVs still requires development for large-scale uptake, there are no such challenges with LPG.
Indeed, the industry has invested significantly over many years and today, LPG is available from around 1,300 refuelling forecourts across the UK as well as at individual operator depots, giving fleets a wealth of choice.
Compelling arguments such as these have recently prompted bodies such as Birmingham City Council to champion LPG.
In a Department for Transport-funded ‘NOx Champions’ project, the council has repowered 63 diesel black cabs to run on LPG, successfully reducing emissions in the city, but also allowing taxi drivers to save money on their fuel bills too.
By Holly Jago general manager at Autogas