FLEET SPEAK: 26 July 2011 - Stepping on the gas?
26 July 2011
Paul Barker is editor of BusinessCar
LPG seems to be creeping back onto people's agendas. Not in a big way, but with fuel prices steadying at previously unheard of levels, some fleets and manufacturers are deeming the fuel worthy of another look.
LPG was just beginning to gain mainstream credibility when the grants dried up around 2004, instantly pitching the sector into what appeared to be terminal decline with the exception of operators in and around London's congestion charge zone.
But things could be changing. Mazda has started making its 3 and 6 models available with an LPG conversion, and now Vauxhall and Chevrolet are eyeing the market closely. At about half the price of petrol or diesel, even if LPG isn't as efficient it's going to become increasingly tempting, and the network of refuelling stations is at least partially still there. Watch this space.
I recently met with Auto Windscreens' Nigel Davies, who highlighted a problem manufacturers could sort that would help suppliers and fleet customers. With the growth of tinting, auto lights and wipers, head-up display and other tech built into screens, his technicians have sometimes to take three screens to a job to ensure they have the right one.
There's not yet a way of a manufacturer detailing exactly which screen is fitted to a car by registration number. If that were possible, they could guarantee to have the right parts for the work, getting fleet drivers back on the road more quickly. Clearly a good idea.
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