Fleet News

Fleets' alternative fuel inquiries up 400%

FLEET demand for grants to help buy alternatively-fuelled vehicles has led to a 400% year-on-year increase in inquiries to the Energy Saving Trust's Powershift programme. Programme manager Jonathan Murray said Powershift was handling 400 inquiries a month from fleets wanting information on converting vehicles to alternative fuels and buying alternatively-fuelled vehicles.

'In the first four months of this financial year we've funded conversions of 800 vehicles, which is as many as throughout the whole of last year,' said Murray. 'We are easily on target to beat our goal of contributing to the conversion of 2,000 vehicles by the end of the year.'

Earlier this year doubts were expressed about the future of the programme, which offers grants of up to 75% of the cost of converting a vehicle, when the Government missed its March deadline for renewing its support. However, the programme now looks to be secure, after the Government boosted Powershift's budget by 65%, taking its total grant for the current year to £3.3 million. Murray ruled out a cash shortage as a result of the surge in interest for grants, and said Powershift was already in talks with the Government about funding for next year.

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