Diesel has received backing from the boss of BMW’s corporate sales division, labelling it as a fuel of the future.
Steve Oliver, general manager of corporate sales at BMW Group (UK) told fleet decision-makers at ACFO’s autumn seminar that diesel is a “massive part of the automotive landscape and very much part of the future”, and diesel technology would continue to advance.
Stressing that diesel engines were 20-30% more fuel efficient than similar capacity petrol engines, Oliver said BMW was “committed to driving the development of diesel technology further”. Nevertheless, he said it was vital for fleet managers to match “the right model with the right powertrain with the right driver”.
Amid the ever-increasing rise in the availability of plug-in hybrids and 100% electric vehicles - the Mini Electric will be produced at the Oxford plant and launched in 2019 - Oliver said: “Diesel remains a strong contender for long-distance driving.”
However, he added that for fleets the days of only having a company car choice list comprising diesel vehicles or, equally, only plug-in hybrids with the advent of new technology “was not the mature approach needed”.
Highlighting the requirement for a balanced approach to company car choice compilation he explained that diesels met the requirement for distance driving, electric and hybrid technology met short journey demands with petrol-engine models sandwiched in between.
“Diesel is not just a fuel today, it is a fuel of the future. It has longevity,” said Oliver.
Fleets face ‘unprecedented change’, ACFO chairman tells seminar
The diesel debate comes as fleet decision-makers are grappling with unprecedented change, according to ACFO chairman John Pryor.
He told 120 delegates attending the organisation’s autumn seminar that in almost 30 years as a fleet manager he could not recall such a multitude of developments that were “leading to a perfect storm of bewilderment, misunderstanding and incomprehension”.