The average carbon emissions of new company cars fell to an all-time low of 120.4g/km in February 2014, according to data from ALD Automotive. That's a 4.8g/km drop compared with ALD’s previous all-time low of 125.2g/km at the end 2013.
ALD’s figures show that the rate of reduction in company car CO2 emissions has fallen by 17% in the last five years alone and is now 8g/km below the UK’s average for new vehicles of 128.3g/km in 2013 – demonstrating that company car drivers are leading the way in terms of reducing carbon emissions.
The data from ALD, which operates a fleet of over 97,000 vehicles, shows that over the last 10 years average CO2 emissions of new company cars have fallen by 27%, in-line with a UK average drop of 25%, according to the latest findings from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which also shows that a new car in 2014 is typically 14% more efficient than one produced in 2009.
ALD’s analysis of company cars it has delivered to customers to date this year also reveals that 78% have been diesel powered, 21% petrol powered and just 1% powered by alternative fuels.
The average annual mileage employees are travelling has bounced back 800 miles, from 17,063 miles in the first two months of 2013 to 17,893 in the first two months of 2014.
Mel Dawson, managing director at ALD, said: "Benefit in Kind (BIK) taxation continues to be the driving factor in pushing emission levels down, as highlighted by our survey of over 1,000 company car drivers in 2013 which found BIK tax was the most influential factor for company car drivers when choosing their next vehicle."
Last week’s Budget indicates that this form of taxation will continue to remain an influential factor for company car drivers as tax rates for 2017-18 and 2018-19 were confirmed to increase by two percentage points for cars emitting more than 75g/km, to a maximum of 37%.
Following the significant impact taxation has had on carbon emission levels there are now talks between car manufacturers and Government for a step change towards legislation around air quality and NOx emissions.
Dawson added: "Company car drivers lead the way in reducing carbon emissions; and have significantly reduced their carbon footprint over the past ten years which has resulted in considerable financial savings and environmental benefits.
"Carbon emissions remain a focus for companies and we are working closely with our customers to help them get the most from their fleet policies, which include fuel efficient and low CO2 vehicles.
"Given the further reductions in carbon emissions it was interesting to see in the data that average annual mileage is actually on the rise - potentially a sign of the improving economic conditions we are experiencing and a trend that we may well see continue through 2014."