Fleet News

Huge boost for gas-powered vehicles

THE fuel shortage has been hailed as a 'major step forward' in establishing gas-powered vehicles as a real force in fleets. Jonathan Murray, manager of transport for the Energy Saving Trust, which runs the Powershift programme, said the fuel crisis could have a positive effect on fleets.

'The most important thing to come out of the fuel crisis is focusing people's minds on the costs of motoring and the significant benefits of fuels like LPG,' said Murray.

'Many people, as they have been looking for fuel, will have seen signs saying LPG is available. They will also realise the cost benefits of switching to cleaner fuels, highlighted by the lack of petrol and diesel.'

Powershift's website had as many hits in three days as it does in a normal week, while its hotline registered twice as many calls a day during the early stages of the crisis.

The BBC dodged shortages with the delivery of five dual-fuel cars last week. The Peugeot 406 and 806 cars are supplied by CW Lease and the delivery was put down more to good timing than attempts to keep on the road.

CET Group, which provides technical services to the civil engineering and insurance industries, has taken delivery of 50 dual fuel Astravans for its 80-strong fleet. Bunkered tanks, supplied by Calor Gas, have been installed at CET's regional offices in the UK.

Vauxhall received more enquiries about LPG in two days during the fuel blockades than it normally does in a week while a spokesman for Ford, which offers Transit and Focus with factory conversions for LPG or compressed natural gas, said: 'We're finding there's more interest from buyers in gas options.'

Alan Hocking, fleet and supplies manager for Humberside Police and winner of this year's Fleet Environmental Award, has more than half his 460-vehicle fleet running on LPG, said he had experienced no problems.

At Budget Car and Van Rental, the firm's fleet of about 50 LPG rental cars and 20 vans at Heathrow was fully-booked during the crisis.

  • THAMES Water helped alleviate problems with the fuel crisis by taking on its first electric van. The Citroen Berlingo Electrique can travel about 60 miles on a single charge.

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