Fleet managers believe that diesel vehicles have gained an unfair reputation for producing harmful emissions, according to a new report jointly produced by the AA and BT Fleet Solutions.
The Operational Fleet Insight Report 2018 suggests high levels of frustration with “anti-diesel rhetoric”, especially among managers who see cleaner diesel vehicles as an effective way of meeting the clean air agenda.
The report, which surveyed more than 500 operational fleet managers and drivers, highlights that diesel-fuelled vehicles continue to be the most popular choice for fleet industry professionals because of a lack of cost-effective and operationally-appropriate alternatively-fuelled vehicles.
It also suggests that, while more than a third (35%) of fleet managers expect to be using electric vehicles (EVs) in the next five years, most are also dubious about the feasibility of such models for long-haul journeys or heavy goods.
Jennie Hill, director of business services at the AA, said: “Fleet managers are committed to their clean air responsibilities, but they are understandably concerned about reducing the impact this will have on their business and customers.
“It’s now time for Government, local councils and manufacturers to step up the quality of support they provide to fleet managers, particularly SMEs.
“New technologies like EVs are expensive. Unless these costs are mitigated up-front, only the largest fleets will be able to benefit from low-emission vehicles.
“Until fleet managers are reassured of this, cleaner diesel will continue to be regarded as the best form of compromise.”
For more on the report, see this week’s Fleet News.