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Fleets face difficulties from zero-emission rules, Venson warns

Date: 09 May 2022   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Zero-emission rules as introduced in a pilot scheme in Oxford would cause difficulties for businesses if rolled out widely, according to Venson Automotive Solutions.

The Oxford zero-emission zone (ZEZ) scheme sees all petrol and diesel vehicles, including hybrids, charged up to £10 a day to use certain roads in the city centre between 7am and 7pm.

Although a discount is available for businesses located inside the Oxford zone, Venson said that, while it supported low-emission zones generally, if such a scheme was rolled out to other UK towns and cities it would be logistically and financially detrimental.

The company pointed out that despite encouraging uptake of EVs, there was a long way to go, not helped by a 33% fall in fleet car registrations reported in the latest monthly sales figures.

In addition, with fleets typically operating three or four year replacement cycles, it said a mass transition to a pure EV fleet may not be seen until as late as 2027.

Venson operations director Alison Bell said: "Clearly there is an urgent need to tackle COs emissions in cities, however the government needs to set out realistic timelines for the introduction of ZEZs in the run up to 2030 Road to Zero strategy deadline.

""For many businesses who are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, and now adjusting to rising fuel, staff and energy costs, the prospect of yet another financial pressure being introduced in the next 12 to 18 months is daunting. 

"As businesses struggle to keep absorbing financial burdens, further increases in operating costs will at some stage mean increased costs for the customer."