Fleet News

Lack of sites hinders LPG progress

THE lack of refuelling stations for alternative fuels remain the Achilles' heel of the drive for cleaner company cars. Martin Hender, Director of Fuel at ARVAL PHH, said the duty reduction announced in Budget 2001 for LPG fuel was deceptive, as very few motorists will be able to benefit from it.

'Currently, less than 700 out of the UK's 14,000 petrol stations sell LPG fuel. This is clearly not good enough for company car drivers, who need to be able to fill up wherever their work takes them,' he said. 'What the Government needs to address is the availability of LPG, and create incentives for manufacturers to produce more vehicles that can use it. Cutting duty is a good start, but LPG needs to be available at more than 1 in every 20 petrol stations.'

A spokesman for BP said fuel companies were doing everything possible to extend their alternative fuel networks, but had struggled to obtain planning permission from local authorities, which had slowed down their work. Shell Gas and Calor Gas have joined forces to speed up their network launches with a new brand called Autogas with 120 sites planned by 2002. Jet, the fuel brand of Conoco, is aiming for 23 sites, while BP is also heading for 100 sites after struggling with planning permission at many of is locations. Sainsbury's is planning 26 LPG sites by 2002.

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