Fleet News

Strong residual values enhance case for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles

Advertorial feature from Go Ultra Low

Used Toyota Prius Plug-in model achieves £3,000 more than forecasted

Fleet operators are understandably cautious about the future values of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs).After all, there is only a small number of ULEVs in the used car market at present.But Richard Parkin, head of valuations at Glass’s, predicts that the lowering of CO2 thresholds for car taxes over time, combined with rising fuel costs, will mean that the residual values (RVs) of ULEVs will “continue to be promoted”. RVs of ULEVs have also been helped by changes to the London congestion charge which mean only plug-in vehicles or vehicles that emit 75g/km or less of CO2 qualify for a 100% discount.

Toyota believes this is one of the reasons it is enjoying success in the used car market with its Prius Plug-in, which launched in July 2012.The realised values of Prius Plug-in models at 12 months and 20,000 miles are well ahead of original forecast, according to CAP Black Book.In September, for example, the Prius Plug-in achieved a resale value of£19,300 – almost £3,000 more than its original forecast and £1,000 more than it achieved in September 2013.This also means it is realising 67% of its original value.

Car hire company Openstart, which specialises in the Public Carriage Office (PCO) market, is confident that values for the Prius Plug-in will hold up.It recently purchased 50 new Prius Plug-ins, with a view to taking a further 30 in the coming months, with 60% of the vehicles set to be hired to companies.For the past five years it has been selling the standard Prius hybrid after three years and 30,000 miles to other chauffeur hire companies and managing director Hamid Tehrani suggests realised values are 10% higher than for a non-hybrid car in this market. “We’ve found that the Prius hybrid is worth 20% more than last year– an incredible jump,” he says. “It is strong in terms of reliability, green and fuel efficient. “Those are the factors pushing RVs up. I can see it continuing to rise for the next two to three years.”

Similarly, in three years’ time he expects ultra low emission vehicles to have created their own demand thanks to the development of charging infrastructure and people realising the benefits of plug-in technology.“It is the standard Prius with the added benefit of plug-in; that’s the beauty of it,” says Tehrani. “The future is in plug-in and fully-electric cars.”

Jon Hunt, fleet marketing manager at Toyota, believes that fleet operators’ understanding of plug-in vehicles has developed.When the Prius Plug-in was first introduced, those companies with experience of Prius were choosing it but now the range of Prius Plug-in customers is wider.The proportion of Prius Plug-in sales to fleet customers has increased from 50% in 2013 to 70% this year.“Air quality has become more of an issue over the past 12 months,” Hunt says. “Businesses are reappraising their position.”

The Government is doing its bit to support the transition to ULEVs – through tax benefits, funding chargepoints, providing incentives and much more. It is investing £1 billion to help drive the adoption of ULEVs. The ‘Go Ultra Low’ campaign, launched by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and backed by the Government and car manufacturers BMW, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall, is a clear statement of intent by both the Government and industry.It aims to help motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and performance features of the ULEVs available today, including 100% electric, plug-in hybrid and extended range vehicles.

To find out more about ULEVs visit www.goultralow.com or follow the campaign @GoUltraLow

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