Fleet News

Government grants for cleaner cars ahead

A NEW grant scheme to help fleets purchase clean-fuelled cars will be launched in the autumn.

The scheme will replace the TransportEnergy PowerShift programme, which was scrapped early this year because it had fallen foul of EU rules on grant aid.

Instead of concentrating on fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas, the new scheme, operated by the Government-funded Energy Saving Trust (EST), is likely to cover all types of vehicle and focus on low carbon emissions.

Full details have yet to be released, but the Government has allayed fears raised earlier this year that the emissions targets are so tough, the grant scheme will only be available to one mainstream model – the hybrid Toyota Prius.

Fleet News revealed in April that proposals had suggested only cars emitting 110g/km of CO2 would be eligible for a grant, meaning most alternatively fuelled vehicles would not qualify.

But, in an interview with Fleet News, Transport Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman dismissed fears that the scheme would shut out most fleet cars.

He added: ‘We have to clear the programmes. Some are cleared and some are not, but we are working towards them being relaunched in the autumn.

‘We have designed them to be technically neutral and provide support for low carbon emissions. I don’t think the claims that have been made are correct. However, more vehicles will be producing emissions in that low band soon.’

In December last year, the Department for Transport announced that it was committing £24 million to transport programmes run by the EST for the next year.

  • For details, log onto www.est.org.uk and click on ‘fleet and travel plans’
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