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Arval launches online alternative fuel comparison tool

Date: 29 April 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Leasing company Arval has launched an online tool to help company car drivers decide if alternatively fuelled vehicles are right for them. 

The Alternative Technology Calculator works by asking a series of questions on subjects including individual driver journey patterns for work and leisure, the types of roads used, BIK taxation and access to charging. 

It then asks the driver to choose between models they are considering - usually a specific petrol or diesel car versus a specific plug-in hybrid or electric model.

The calculator will then make a recommendation, explaining the benefits of the preferred option. 

Arval senior business manager Paul Marchment said: "With the introduction of more diverse fuel choices such as pure electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, coupled with the current taxation regime, the decision-making process for drivers when choosing a new car is now much more complicated than at any point in the past.  

"The combination of factors that need to be considered should encourage people to think about how and where they are using their vehicles, because the correct usage of the newer technology is vital to ensure that the potential benefits are realised.

"No two drivers are the same and this should be reflected in the technology they opt for. While one driver may benefit from adopting an electric or plug-in hybrid model, a driver who has a long commute or spends a lot of time on the road may still be better suited to a diesel or petrol model, even when taxation is taken into account." 

According to Marchment, the Alternative Technology Calculator is the latest in a series of tools that Arval has developed to help with the decision-making process. 

He said: "The new calculator is the most comprehensive of these so far. It is very much designed to walk drivers through a transparent process that enables them to them assess the viability of choosing an electric or hybrid vehicle instead of their habitual petrol or diesel choice.

"While the front end is very useable and relatively simple, the calculations being made in the background provide a really comprehensive picture of the implications of each vehicle choice."

The tool is available for anyone to use, which Arval says is part of its corporate promotion of wider fuel diversity. 

Marchment said: "We very much believe that it is the responsibility of companies like ourselves to provide information that enables faster and wider adoption of electric and hybrid company cars on an industry-wide basis. 

"Certainly, our experience so far with the calculator is that many drivers are pleased and surprised at the way in which it is able to rationalise the viability of them switching away from petrol and diesel in simple terms.  

"It also helps to start useful conversations. For example, someone may find that their tax liability is much lower be adopting an electric vehicle, so start talking to us about the charging options open to them at home, work and beyond."