TransportAction PowerShift has published a consultation document that proposes to halve grants in order to spread the money more widely. Currently, fleets can apply for grants of 40% of the additional costs of converting a vehicle to run on cleaner fuels where a reduction of up to 49% of Euro III emissions standard can be achieved. This rises to 60% for a cut of between 50% and 64%, and 75% for an improvement over Euro III by at least 65%.
But the proposals suggest new grant levels of 20%, 30% and 50% for the three bands. Roger Williams, group business development and fleet sales manager at West End Motors, said: 'If we do not stop the plans LPG could cease to exist. It is at a fragile stage in its development and needs fleet backing to become a success.' The plans have also been criticised by Jane Perris, transport and communications manager for Cornwall Healthcare NHS Trust, a former Fleet News Environmental Award finalist and responsible for a fleet of almost 800 vehicles.
She said that cutting grants would discourage fleets from following the 'green' route. 'The PowerShift grant really does make a difference. Fleets need support until conversion costs come down,' said Perris. Jonathan Murray, head of TransportAction PowerShift, said: 'PowerShift needs to look at how to transform LPG from its position as an alternative fuel into a serious challenger to petrol and diesel over the next three years.'