Fleet News

Fuel differentials debate heats up

SUBMISSIONS to the Environmental Audit Committee reveal the conflicting arguments over what fuel duty measures would actually make a difference to air quality. Calor Gas, for example, argued that cars powered by liquefied petroleum gas could help to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25% compared to petrol models, and also had considerable advantages in terms of their nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions.

As a result it called for a five-year commitment to maintain the duty differential between LPG and diesel, and capital allowances both for the conversion of vehicles to run on LPG and for the installation of gas refuelling sites. British Gas, however, promoted the benefits of natural gas, which it said produced lower emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, benzene, and carbon dioxide than petrol or diesel.

It does not believe a freeze in the duty differential between gas and petrol and diesel will be enough to kick-start the gas vehicle market, and as a result, it called for a reduction in road gas fuel duty from the present 21.13 pence per kilogram towards the EU minimum of 8p/kg.

ARCO Chemical, however, which is involved in the production of reformulated gasoline, used its submission to the EAC to call for a 3 pence per litre duty differential between normal unleaded petrol and reformulated clean petrol.

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