Fleet News

Greenpeace urges fleets to ban SUVs

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigner Greenpeace has called on the fleet industry to join the backlash against sport utility vehicles by banning them from choice lists.

Last week, the pressure group launched a high-profile campaign against SUVs when 35 protesters chained themselves to the Range Rover assembly line.

Greenpeace executive director Stephen Tindale said: ‘We’ve taken direct action to stop Land Rover making these gas-guzzling urban 4x4s. The company used to have a reputation for making working vehicles, but now they market themselves as the car company for people who love the wilderness while simultaneously producing cars that threaten our environment with catastrophic climate change.’

And fleets can do their bit for the environment, a spokesman for Greenpeace claimed, by ensuring that employees are only given the option of choosing low-emission cars and, at executive level, banning SUVs and other cars with high fuel consumption.

The spokesman added that companies have a ‘duty of care to the environment and an obligation to make an effort to run cleaner cars’.

Greenpeace has particularly targeted Land Rover following the launch of its Range Rover Sport model, which the environmentalists claim is aimed at urban drivers.

In a statement it said: ‘The Range Rover is the UK’s least fuel-efficient 4x4, doing a criminal 12 miles to the gallon in urban areas.

‘The new Range Rover Sport, which ‘has been tuned primarily for on-road performance’, does fewer miles to the gallon than the Model T Ford built 80 years ago. Making cars like this for urban use is crazy.’

However, Greenpeace is not after those who need a four-wheel drive vehicle for genuine off-road purposes. It had nothing against fleets which need to run vehicles such as the Land Rover Defender, Nissan Navara or Mitsubishi L200. Land Rover has claimed that Greenpeace’s stance is misleading, and that it has picked on very specific vehicles to make its case.

Mark Foster, manager, corporate communications for Land Rover, said: ‘A lot of what Greenpeace has said is deceitful. The average fuel consumption of the Land Rover fleet in terms of the vehicles sold is more than 30mpg. And cars such as the Discovery also have seven seats.’

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