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Average CO2 output of lease cars drops as EVs gain ground

Date: 19 May 2020   |   Author: Illya Verpraet

The average CO2 output of lease cars in Q4 of 2019 was at its lowest level since Q3 of 2018 as over 4% of new lease cars were pure electric vehicles.

The BVRLA published its quarterly Leasing Survey for the fourth quarter of 2019 and found that average CO2 outputs are going down again, as hybrids and electric vehicles compensate for the shift away from diesel.

48% of new lease cars had petrol engines, 34% ran on diesel, and 14% were hybrids, while the total lease car fleet consisted of 35% petrol cars, 54% diesels and 10% hybrids.

The average lease car registered in Q4 of 2019 emitted 113g/km CO2, which is 10% lower than the average new car. The whole fleet of leased cars, which still includes a large number of diesel cars, still does slightly better, at 112.2g/km.

This was partly thanks to the increased uptake of BEVs (battery-electric vehicles, i.e. pure electric vehicles), which made up more than 4% of new lease car registrations, a 750% growth in market share compared to the same period in 2018.

The salary sacrifice sector is a big contributor in this shift: It was responsible for 24% of new cars generally, and just over 6% of new business contract hire cars ran purely on electricity.

In general, the lease car fleet shrank by nearly 3%, as a 7.3% increase in consumer contracts failed to offset a 5.4% fall in business leasing.

"The Q4 survey was the last conducted before the impacts of Brexit, the March 2020 Budget, the April 2020 tax changes and the COVID-19 pandemic," said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney. 

"It will be fascinating to see the effect that these huge external factors will have on the shape of the leasing market and the speed of transition to zero emission road transport." 

BVRLA members can access the full report on the Association's website.