Fleet News

Vauxhall chairman: Give LPG cleanest VED classification

THE head of Vauxhall has insisted that the Government must classify gas-powered cars in the cleanest category of any graduated vehicle excise duty. Speaking at the Motor Show Nick Reilly, chairman and managing director of Vauxhall, said any environmentally-driven incentives for 'smaller and cleaner cars' must disregard engine size when dealing with dual-fuel vehicles.

His announcement followed speculation that the new VED would be based on cubic capacity to encourage small engined cars and penalising so-called gas-guzzlers, and coincided with the launch of a full liquid petroleum gas-powered Vauxhall Astra, and an extension of the LPG Vectra and Omega line-up. Dual-fuel Astras are now available in saloon, hatchback and estate form, while dual-fuel estate versions of the Vectra and Omega have been added to Vauxhall's green fleet line-up.

'We are keeping our promise to offer the widest possible choice,' said Reilly. 'We are seeing substantial interest in alternative fuels from a growing number of commercial operators as well as local authorities. They realise the genuine environmental value of a van or a car which can run on petrol outside towns and cities and switch on the move to cleaner gas emissions when it hits urban areas.'

He highlighted the fact that Vauxhall's dual-fuel range qualifies for the maximum 75% Powershift subsidy towards the extra cost of conversion - £1,975 in Vauxhall's case - due to its emissions performance. The new LPG powered Astra is based on the car's 1.6-litre, 8-valve petrol engine, and with its 46-litre tank gives a gas range of 295 miles (350 miles in the Astravan), while the Vectra and Omega estates use the 2.0-litre multi-valve Ecotec engine.

The dual-fuel Astra Envoy three-door hatchback costs £13,825 on the road, the Astra LS estate costs £15,895, and the Astravan LS costs £12,200 (plus VAT). The dual-fuel Vectra estate LS costs £18,555, and the dual-fuel Omega estate GLS costs £21,970.

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