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Fleet take-up of alternatively fuelled vehicles increasing

Date: 13 July 2017   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The number of UK fleets operating at least one alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) or planning to do so in the next three years has risen by 6%, new research has revealed.

According to leasing company Arval, 56% of UK fleets currently have at least one AFV on their books.

Their choices include hybrids (22% implemented, 27% planning to introduce), plug-in hybrids (15%, 22%), electric vehicles (10%, 22%) and hydrogen vehicles (2%, 18%).

Arval's findings come from the 2017 edition of its Corporate Vehicle Observatory Barometer research, with the firm polling 3,847 fleets. The firm added that the UK is among the top three for every alternative fuel choice out of 13 European countries.

However, Arval found that adoption of AFVs varies according to the size of the fleet, with78% of larger fleets using either non-petrol or diesel models or planning to, compared with 66% of medium fleets and 44% of smaller fleets.

"There is undeniably a big difference between small and large fleets and it could be that, as an industry, fleet needs to better educate operators of all businesses on the advantages of these new drivetrains," said Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval's corporate vehicle observatory in the UK. "Otherwise, there is a possibility that smaller businesses could miss out on the benefits that they bring."

He added: "It is obvious that the twin dominance of petrol and diesel that has characterised the company car and van sector for many, many years is being challenged by credible alternatives. Modern fleets are moving towards a portfolio of drivetrain technologies and are rapidly becoming conversant in which choices work most effectively in different types of applications. We are seeing both a push and a pull effect in action. On one hand, plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles have become much more usable, well-priced and appealing products in recent years while, on the other, we have seen pressure on diesel because of concerns on air quality."