Fleet News

Fleets reassured over LPG review

THE liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry is attempting to allay fleet fears that the price of the fuel could soar under a Government fuel duty review and leave them with crumbling residual values.

As previously reported on Fleet NewsNet, fleet decision-makers are at the centre of a battle over the future of alternative fuels such as LPG, which benefits from a 40p per litre tax break.

Energy Minister Brian Wilson, speaking before he stepped down last week, has attempted to convince the industry the review offers a 'challenge and not a threat'.

He said: 'LPG has a very good story to tell and the industry has to communicate that effectively. In addition to the environmental case for LPG there is also a credibility issue for the Government because many people have invested in LPG because of its up-front support for it and that of course will be a consideration.'

Wilson made his comments at the launch of the 100,000th LPG vehicle, a Vauxhall Vectra taken on by facilities management company OCS, in London last week.

Andrew Miller MP, whose constituency is Ellesmere Port where the LPG Vauxhall Vectra is made and who also attended the presentation, said: 'The idea that the LPG industry will go up in a puff of smoke is fanciful.

'Not only would the Chancellor of the Exchequer have to face the industry but he would also have existing customers to face.'

Tom Fiddell, director-general of the LP Gas Association, said his organisation welcomed the review. He said: 'We commissioned emission tests both in the UK and in other countries which prove the environmental credentials of LPG against petrol and diesel and we are very confident that the results will justify a further period of low taxation.

'We see the review as an opportunity and not a threat. I would tell fleets not to worry. We are confident the outcome will be positive for the industry.'

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