Mike Waters' blog: 22 August 2011 - What is the motivation to be greener?
22 August 2011
Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company.
Across the UK, the uptake of cleaner, greener vehicles has increased year on year; a trend that shows no signs of slowing. But is this as a result of a change in social attitudes, a renewed focus on costs, or simply better availability of lower emitting vehicles?
Well the reality is that it's probably a combination of all of these things. There is no doubt that our focus on the environment has increased in recent years and there will be drivers who select a vehicle with the specific target of reducing their impact on the environment by as much as possible.
However, there will be groups who place the environment lower down their priority list and are focused on cost. During difficult economic times people are looking for ways to reduce their expenditure. This means using vehicle selection as a means of saving money and luckily, when it comes to running a vehicle, the greenest ones can often be the cheapest to run.
It is also fair to say that the manufacturers have had a massive impact on the uptake of more efficient vehicles. People will purchase the vehicles that the manufacturers put in front of them and the car companies have done a great job of producing more efficient vehicles without compromising on style, comfort and in many cases performance.
Aided by a CO2 focused regulatory framework from the EU average new car emissions fell by 3.5% in 2010 and have declined by more than 20% since 2000. This is due to a raft of lower emitting but practical vehicles moving into the marketplace.
The takeup of greener vehicles even varies geographically: research from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) into the 31 million cars currently registered on UK roads shows significant variances. Chesterfield tops the charts with 29% of cars on the road emitting less than 140g/km CO2 while Plymouth comes out worst with just 19% achieving the same level of output.
Regardless of the motivation, it seems that for the majority of drivers there is at least one good reason to switch to a more efficient vehicle. For other there will be several good reasons and because of that, expect emissions to continue to fall.
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