Fleet News

Fleets add to debate over emissions

The King Review into the future of low-carbon vehicles has started talking to fleets about their role in reducing emissions.

It signals a move away from focusing primarily on technology to targeting operational issues too.

The recommendations made by the review, which publishes its final report early next year, are expected to influence the Chancellor’s thinking behind the 2008 Budget.

Professor Julia King, who heads the review, has already told Fleet News that she is particularly interested in influencing the purchase of company cars, possibly by altering company car tax.

Lowering company car emissions has been one of the shining successes of government environmental policy over the past decade, and fleets might feel they were being hit again for other sectors’ failings.

A delegation from fleet operators’ assocation ACFO met the review panel to put across the case for fleet managers.

“We were keen to point out that the solution to lower carbon motoring is not just a technology-led answer.

"For fleet managers and their drivers, there are operational issues that are of equal importance,” said ACFO director Stewart Whyte.

“We emphasised the importance of mileage and also how a car is driven.

“I think they took our points on board, realised just how diverse the fleet industry is, and how you cannot look at the fleet market and say you’ve ticked the box.”

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) also made a presentation to the King Review in September.

Its spokesman Robin Mackonochie felt they had impressed on the review how powerful and influential tax and fiscal measures are, and how they can change people’s behaviour.

Mr Mackonochie also talked about the importance of the fleet industry is to lowering the emissions from cars, in both the new and used markets.

He said: “If the level of emissions in business cars drops significantly, then the level of private car emissions drops significantly too because the two markets are inextricably linked – three-quarters of used cars were business cars.”

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