But those who opt out of traditional company car schemes continue to choose higher performance higher-emitting cars, new research has found. The average CO2 figure per vehicle in 2005 was 168g/km, a drop from 170 in 2004, 176 in 2003 and 179 in 2002.
Public sector fleets produced the lowest CO2, at 153g/km, but the result for personal car ownership plans remained the highest at 172g/km, according to analysis from GE Commercial Finance Fleet Services (GECFFS).
The data was gathered from its UK fleet of 54,000 vehicles. As well as major fleets considering the environment when deciding their choice lists, others factors for the fall in CO2, GECFFS claims, include the introduction of the emissions-based company car tax system in 2002 and the resultant growing popularity of diesel engines. Petrol vehicles now only account for about a quarter of its fleet.
Rich Green, managing director at GE Fleet Services, said: ‘The fall in CO2 output across the fleet is primarily a result of taxation but we also believe interest from larger fleets is slowly growing around introducing ideas that could help make their future fleet strategies become greener.
‘Except for some environmentally conscious fleets which might operate a few LPG vehicles, interest in green issues has not been historically high. In fact, our research often places it at the bottom of the list of fleet manager concerns.’
Green highlighted the difficult balancing act confronting fleets wanting to go green.
He said: ‘Some of the vehicles these companies would like to remove are the same ones that are driven by some of their most senior employees. If companies are to carry any initiative forward, they need to convince their drivers about environmental issues.’