Leeds-based printing press firm MLP is changing its petrol-only fleet to LPG-powered Volvos, with the first six S40 saloons and V40 estates delivered, and the remaining 20 cars to be replaced over the next three years.
Julie Rhodes, company accounts manager, said: 'The freeze on duty for gas announced last year was one of the reasons we decided to switch.
'The company car tax changes, with a one percentage point benefit-in-kind tax discount for gas vehicles also made it attractive, while the Volvo range is suited to the job of transporting service engineers and their equipment.'
Gareth Bottomley, corporate sales manager of Wakefield-based Harratts' Volvo which supplies the cars to MLP, has reported a rise in interest in gas-powered vehicles, and believes high-mileage company car drivers who can choose a Bi-Fuel S40 and remain in the 15% company car tax band will be keen to make the switch.
He said: 'Bi-fuel cars cost less to use, giving drivers and their employers more private and business miles for their money.'
Two other fleets have also taken delivery of Volvo Bi-Fuel vehicles over tem, he last few weeks with the Environment Agency and Ultrachem both planning to make significant changes to their vehicle line-ups.
Ultrachem, which supplies consumables to the printing industry, has taken delivery of 11 Bi-Fuel LPG cars and is planning to change its fleet of 50 cars and vans over to gas.
Fleet manager Tony Brinton jnr said: 'We researched all avenues and believe LPG will reduce our monthly fuel costs by at least 30%.'
By the middle of 2003 Ultrachem will be running a fleet comprising entirely of Bi-Fuel LPG Volvos and LPG Ford Transit vans. The Environment Agency has also introduced a policy of incentivising its lease car drivers with a 50% reduction in their rental contribution if they choose the greenest cars on the choice list. The first gas-powered Volvo has joined the fleet, running on compressed natural gas (CNG).
Martin Brocklehurst, head of environmental protection, said: 'Our Bristol office is just a mile away from a CNG refuelling station so filling up will be no problem.'