A BVRLA-assembled group of fleet representatives has suggested a package of incentives and actions that would help kick-start the market for ultra-low emission vehicles.
A workshop comprising of the Energy Saving Trust, the Association of Car Fleet Operators and a range of BVRLA rental, leasing and commercial vehicle members gave advice to the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). OLEV has a £500m budget earmarked for growing the ultra-low emission vehicle market up to 2020, and is looking to get feedback from across the automotive sector about how to spend it.
The workshop gave OLEV a mini-manifesto of policy suggestions that could together provide the sort of incentive package that has helped drive such a successful ultra-low emission vehicle market in Norway. These included:
- Providing subsidised or free EV parking
- Giving tax incentives for companies to install charging infrastructure
- Introducing an emissions-based AMAP regime
- Ensuring that benefit-in-kind company car tax is charged on the Plug-in Car Grant-inclusive cost of a vehicle, rather than the higher list price
- Reinstating 100% first-year allowances for leased or rented ultra-low emission vehicles.
BVRLA members already own and operate hundreds of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles and were able to provide real-life examples of where fleets were already using EVs in earnest or had found barriers to adoption.
OLEV was told that more resource needed to be put behind information campaigns and fleet training so that many of the misconceptions around electric vehicles could be corrected.
Delegates said that vehicle manufacturers needed encouragement to put a more comprehensive package of measures behind their ultra-low emission vehicles to support early adopters and ensure that there is a healthy second-hand market for plug-in cars and vans.
“Fleet take-up of ultra-low emission vehicles will be a marathon, not a sprint,” said BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney.
“With their expertise and buying power, BVRLA members can play a key role in driving this change, provided the government creates the right policy and tax environment.”
The BVRLA will distil the input the viewpoints obtained during the workshop and present them to OLEV by early January 2014. OLEV is then due to finalise its proposals and present them to ministers early in March 2014.
“Fleets must be at the forefront of any strategy to stimulate greater adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK, and the diverse group of road transport users assembled by the BVRLA will help us to formulate our plans,” said a Department for Transport spokesperson.