GREENEST CAR MAKERS: Green-rating the top fleet brands (continued)
06 April 2010
The world of emissions reduction is a fast-paced and rapidly changing environment. Paul Barker takes a look at which of fleet's top 20 brands are leading the race in 2010
Still a minority fleet player, Mini's use of parent BMW's Efficient Dynamics technology plus a supermini-only model range are responsible for its low average emissions. As the model range grows, it will be interesting to see if emissions are kept in check.
Nissan is playing the waiting game, and its Leaf, the first purpose-built five-Seat electric model, is now less than a year away. That car will at least start the debate on EVs, but before then there's been little for the Japanese brand to shout about in green terms.
Peugeot is handily placed for green-fuelled growth, with its model range biased towards smaller cars and forthcoming developments in both electric and hybrid technology. Good variety of models available at beneath 121g/km.
Like some others, Renault hopes to catapult itself to the top of the pile when new tech appears, such as the four electric vehicles that should establish the brand as the leader in that field. Good sub-121g/km range, but nothing yet under 111g/km.
Seat has made decent jumps with specific Ecomotive-branded models, which can hold their own against any other brand. Core range is OK without being outstanding, and the next steps in emissions reduction are yet to be mapped out by the Spanish brand.
Skoda's Fabia offers a range of options, including an estate below 110g/km - and that car's figures will come down further with the facelift in the next couple of months. Only question mark is over the next stage of emissions reduction for the company.
Toyota again comes out top of BusinessCar's green ranking of the big fleet brands. A good range of low-CO2 models, topped off by the lowest-emitting five-seat car on the market in the form of the hybrid Prius, gives the firm a compelling eco argument.
Vauxhall may be slightly behind the green trailblazers, but it makes up for that in volume terms. A massive 62 different models below 121g/km is the highest figure here, while the future will be interesting with the plug-in electric Ampera on the horizon.
Another runner-up spot for VW, a manufacturer that can justifiably claim to be at the forefront of emissions reduction. The core fleet models are the ones that have the biggest stories, too, with Polo, Golf and Passat at the forefront of the Bluemotion activity.
Volvo has really sparked into life in the past 12 months, with its Driv-e eco branding now adorning a rapidly growing range of cars. Several measures have seen big improvements on every model, plus there are headline figures to pretty much match any rival.
As was the case last year, there is plenty of stability at the top of the chart, with the top two the same for the second year in a row. It'll be a welcome boost for Toyota after its recent safety issues, but its efforts across the range combined with the headline-grabbing Prius help it run away with victory.
Silver goes to VW, which has been one of the pioneers of the charge to lower emissions through its Bluemotion models. The pace doesn't seem to be slowing, with recent developments to the Polo, Golf and Passat models producing further CO2 cuts.
Ford's recent effort through its Econetic-branded models keep it near the top of the CO2 class, especially with the sub-100g/km Focus. After
that it's something of a surprise to see Audi climb to fourth, but the huge range of A3s below 121g/km counted in its favour, as did getting a low-CO2 model in each range down below key boundaries.
It's clear our methodology counted against brands such as BMW and Mercedes, which are more likely to sell larger vehicles, while Volvo's sudden emergence as a CO2 force dovetails with a focus on its wide range of low-emission Driv-e models that are proving popular in the corporate marketplace.
A word of encouragement for the brands near the bottom of the table comes in the form of potential. All of the bottom four have exciting developments in the pipeline that should lift them up the table in the next couple of years.
. Thanks to www.cleangreencars.co.uk for once more providing the average CO2 data used in this analysis