Fleet News

UK fleets head new rush for alternative fuels

FLEETS will bring in record demand for alternatively-fuelled vehicles during the next year, according to the Government-funded programme created to stimulate demand for clean fuel vehicles. TransportAction PowerShift, formerly Powershift, has revealed that since April last year, it has committed to providing grants towards the conversion or purchase of £8 million worth of alternatively-fuelled vehicles.

The funding covers 7,600 vehicles, already more than double the entire number funded in the first four years of the scheme to March 2000. For the next financial year, it expects numbers to double again and has fended off claims that it may not be able to meet demand as its grant has been frozen at £10 million a year for the next three years. Jonathan Murray, head of TransportAction, the umbrella group for several Government initiatives aimed at reducing vehicle emissions, said: 'We expect growth to be very rapid and we will be supporting that growth for at least the next three years.'

TransportAction PowerShift has received more than 1,800 grant applications since April to buy or convert a clean fuel vehicle. Murray admitted there had been some problems with providing grants in Scotland, where a separate fund of £1 million a year has been created, but insisted the scheme was still working well. So far this year, PowerShift grant applications have been focused more on LCVs, with 36% going to cars, 63% to LCVs, minibuses and tractors and 1% to HGVs and buses.

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