Peter Eldridge, director of the ICFM, highlighted Government policy changes that would help fleets increase their uptake of low-emission vehicles.
Speaking at the Go Ultra Low Fleet Summit in London on January 10, and he said electric vehicles were a conundrum and outlined a roadmap that the Government could take on board.
To overcome fleet decision-maker resistance to widespread plug-in vehicle acceptance, Eldridge said the government could assist by:
- Outlining a clear long-term policy for all fuel types so businesses could plan their strategies against a background of stability
- Provide electric vehicle driver taxation and other incentives similar to those available in Norway
- Recognise that fleet operators required support to make confident vehicle power train choices and implement environmental policy change.
Eldridge also highlighted the “bizarre” company car benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax regime that sees drivers selecting a zero emission car in 2017/18 paying 9% tax, rising to 13% in 2018/19 and 16% in 2019/20 - increases of 44% and 23% respectively - before reducing to 2% in 2020/21, an 87.5% cut.
He said: “Fleet drivers will make improved environmental vehicle choices if the benefit-in-kind tax regime is beneficial; electric vehicle recharging is straightforward at all points in their business and personal travel; and electric vehicle choices are not viewed as ‘below status’ due to prohibitive capital and lease costs.”
Alternatively fuelled cars registered in the UK in 2017 accounted for 4.7% of the new car market, according to Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders’ (SMMT) data.
Eldridge concluded: “Fleet operators are not averse to change, but they will not expose themselves or their businesses to risks. Plug-in vehicles must be attractive to mainstream fleet operations in terms of technology and cost and currently there remains too many unknowns across a sector that remains embryonic in terms of sales.”
Read the full story in the next edition of Fleet News on January 25.