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Letters to Fleet News' editor Martyn Moore.

High cost deters switch


In last week’s article (Case grows stronger for electric vehicles), George Alexander at EurotaxGlass’s, mentions that national and local government grants are being made available for companies aiming to convert their fleet.

I have spent the last few days trying to find out more about these subsidies – to no avail.

We currently run a fleet of dual fuel vans (LPG and petrol), but with many manufacturers now not fitting gas conversions as factory options and leasing companies not wanting to lease vans with third-party conversions, we thought we would look into converting to electric.

However, the cost of some of these vehicles beggars belief – £47,000 for a panel van – and the battery pack takes up load space. At that price, where is the incentive to change?

IT manager, CYC Logistics

Ed: Try www.energysaving trust.org.uk/fleet for detailed information on green vehicles.

Drivers have to foot bill for their carelessness

The recent statistics that distracting and potentially dangerous driving habits are on the increase (August 7) have serious implications for fleet managers and drivers.

We have an internal policy that dictates that if an employee commits an offence as a result of driving without due care and attention, we will look to the driver to cover part or all of the insurance costs.

This ensures that the driver is made fully aware of their
part in the accident and also the responsibility they have for the vehicle.

Reducing the risks for our drivers and others on the road is a responsibility that we take very seriously.

We also encourage our customers to adopt similar policies to protect themselves from rising insurance costs.

These latest statistics should not be regarded lightly.

Figures relating to negligent driving simply should not continue to rise year-on-year and the seriousness of careless accidents needs to be reinforced to realise this goal.

Head of risk, Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions

Smoking court case served as a timely reminder

Following the widespread publicity which surrounded the in-company car smoking ban that came into effect last year, I wonder whether some employers are aware of the low-
tolerance approach that appears to have now been adopted by some local authorities?

This issue was highlighted recently when a self-employed decorator, Gordon Williams, was fined £30 by his local council for smoking in his van, even though it is privately owned and he was not working.

This case is an extreme example, but the council does appear to have interpreted the law correctly and it does demonstrate that local authorities are starting to take a more proactive approach to enforcing the law.

It shows how important it is for employers – and the self-employed – to ensure that their drivers are aware of the smoking laws.

Now would be a good time to remind them, even if you have already issued details about the laws to drivers previously.

The incident also highlights the need for businesses to remind their drivers of the important role that they play in maintaining the image and reputation of the organisation.

These fines do not reflect well on employers or their employees. Everyone needs to not only take the new guidelines seriously but also be seen to be doing so.

Managing director, GE Capital Solutions, Fleet Services

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