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Alison Bell's blog: Are the days of diesel as the default option for corporate travel really over?

Date: 06 October 2017

Alison Bell, Marketing Director for Venson Automotive Solutions argues it has its place alongside future newer alternatives

Alison Bell

We have tirelessly campaigned for businesses to primarily base their company car selection on whole life costs and fitness for purpose. Despite the need for fleet decision makers to future-proof their vehicle operation decisions against a changing legislative and taxation background, and drive company car choice firmly along the 'green road' - including incorporating Clean Air Zones - our mantra remains unchanged.  

Ultimately, there will be a shift in the make-up of the vast majority of fleets which will include a mix of vehicles fuelled by petrol and electricity, but must not be to the detriment of diesel; without doubt it will continue to have its place, particularly for high mileage drivers.   

In the company car sector, fleet decision-makers and drivers today have a clear choice of petrol, hybrid and plug-in, as well as diesel, which has been the mainstay of corporate travel operations for 15 years. However, the media continues to demonise diesel, calling time on the fuel prematurely.

"Without doubt diesel will continue to have its place, particularly for high mileage drivers"

We share the SMMT's belief that today's range of Euro6 emission diesel cars are a completely different technical offering to the models of yesterday and are the 'cleanest' in history.

Although fleet decision-makers and company car drivers have a tightrope-like balancing act to perform, that means future proofing their vehicle operating decisions against a changing landscape, there is no definitive 'right' fleet fuel. All car fuel options have their merits but they also have their drawbacks - financial and operational - that must be taken into account in the decision-making process. 

"There is no definitive 'right' fleet fuel"

In the commercial sector, we anticipate that diesel will remain dominant as, while plug-in vans are available, their viability, notably due to range and payload, only make them suitable for niche requirements. In addition, both the government and the Mayor of London are using Euro6 emission standards as the entry criteria to Clean Air Zones and the capital's Ultra-Low Emission Zone. 

Whilst emission standards and taxation will continue to tighten over the coming years, with government encouraging adoption of plug-in vehicles, for the short and medium terms, best practice dictates that fleets will operate a mix of fuel types, including without doubt, diesel."

For more information read Venson's The Future of Diesel for Fleets: White Paper