Fleet News

Alternative fuels make steady fleet progress

ALTERNATIVE fuels are making significant inroads into Britain's fleets, according to a Fleet News/Calor Autogas survey. But it also shows the scale of the task still facing the Government as it tries to coax more fleets into alternatively-fuelled vehicles.

Nearly 70% of fleet managers rate the environment as important or very important - behind company image (88.5%) and cost management (97%). An environmental manager was employed at 27% of firms surveyed, but two thirds of fleet managers said they had not considered running alternatively-fuelled vehicles such as liquefied petroleum gas models.

Of the 34% who did look at running an LPG vehicle, 14.5% are running tests, while a quarter are still considering the move. For those who did not take on alternative fuels, the most common reason was the lack of refuelling sites, with 21% of those who turned down the alternative fuel option saying more refuelling points might make them think again.

Other factors influencing the decision to go green included the overall cost (13.5%), making sure it was environmentally-friendly (7%), availability (5.5%) and fuel costs (5.5%). It found 4% wanted tax benefit guarantees before making the switch. The report said: 'A chicken and egg situation hangs over the wide-scale adoption of LPG as a viable alternative fuel. While people remain uneducated, they will not use LPG vehicles.'

Of those surveyed, 63.5% said they would convert their entire fleet straight away if they decided alternative fuels were right for their vehicles. According to the report nearly half the fleet managers thought their drivers would either be negative (40%), or even outraged (9%) at the move to alternative fuels. Just 14% said they would get a positive reaction.

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