Fleets are leading the way in the UK in choosing ‘green’ vehicles, but lag behind their European equivalents, according to new research.

A study by the Corporate Vehicle Observatory (CVO), which is backed by fuel company Arval, shows a fifth of UK fleets now have at least one green car on their books. The CVO defined a green car as one with a fuel-efficient title, such as VW‘s Bluemotion or Ford‘s Econetic, or one powered by an alternative fuel, such as a petrol-electric hybrid.

Fleets with more than 1000 employees lead the way with 55% having at least one green car, and 40% running at least one hybrid vehicle.

The number is due to rise, as 63% of fleets say they are planning to introduce green vehicles within three years. However, 71% of European fleets say they are looking to add green vehicles in the same time period.

“While there is a definite willingness among company car fleets to utilise the new breed of environmentally friendly vehicles, they do seem unsure as to which is the primary new technology to choose,” said Mike Waters, Arval’s director of market insight and BusinessCar blogger.

“The CVO research demonstrates that while the less risky, fuel efficient labels will prove the most popular choice over the next three years, fleets are split on the other options such as LPG or natural gas, electric, biofuel and hybrids.”