Fleet News

Lords renew calls to boost wider use of gas road fuels

NEW calls for Government incentives to dramatically increase the fleet use of gas-powered vehicles - perhaps through the vehicle excise duty system - have been made in the House of Lords. The debate came with the Government shortly to publish a consultation document on changes to the vehicle excise duty system with rates starting at £100 for less polluting cars and gas-guzzlers being penalised above the present £150 across-the-board vehicle excise duty rate.

Pro gas-powered vehicle groups have long campaigned for duty on gas as a road fuel in the UK to be reduced to the European Union minimum - 10p per kilogram compared to UK levels of around 21.3p - but in a debate Lord Dixon-Smith claimed that even if duty was at the minimum level running cost savings because of the remission of duty would not be enough to pay for vehicle conversion.

Duty levels on gaseous fuels have been frozen since November 1996, increasing the differential with petrol and diesel as they increase by around 6% in real terms annually. From April 6 next year the cost of converting a car to run on gas or the extra cost of buying a gas-powered car will be ignored for company car tax purposes.The Government's representative, Lord McIntosh of Haringey, said he would welcome any further suggestions as to how gas-powered vehicle uptake could be increased.

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