The majority of the UK’s top leasing companies have reduced their average total risk car fleet emissions below 120g/km, while all are ramping up their share of ultra-low emission vehicles.

BusinessCar’s CO2 and ULEV survey of the country’s leading leasing companies by size of fleet, who between them have a total risk fleet of over 610,000 vehicles, has revealed that Arval has the lowest average CO2 at 117g/km and the highest share of  ULEVs – vehicles with a CO2 output of below 75g/km – at 3.7%  within the top leasing companies in the UK.

Even companies outside the top five such as Hitachi Capital are also heavily increasing their share of ULEVs, matching Arval for lowest CO2 output at 117g/km and increasing its ULEV share to 4.4%. The average across the four leading lease firms that supplied figures was 121.8g/km, while the BVRLA’s most recent quarterly leasing survey suggested the average CO2 emissions figure for new vehicles across all UK fleets registered was 119.5g/km.

The reduction in CO2 has been in part due to the massive increase in alternative-fuel vehicles being taken on by fleets.

Lex Autolease, the largest leasing company in the UK with a total risk fleet of 282,420 vehicles, has increased its ULEV fleet size from 246 vehicles in April 2014 to 2307 vehicles as of April this year. While that is still a small part of the total Lex fleet, it’s a huge rise in 12 months.

Lex said it has been using its consultancy team to introduce environmentally friendly vehicles to businesses wherever relevant.

Chris Chandler, principal consultant, fleet consultancy, at Lex said: “We are finding more and more companies now consider plug-ins as a realistic and economical alternative.

“We anticipate the percentage of ULEVs on our fleet will increase as companies realise the benefits and demand grows.”

Robert Pieczka, marketing and insurance director at Arval UK, said the CO2 reduction and ULEV increase has been driven by focusing on the specific needs of its customers.

He told BusinessCar: “We expect the number of [electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids] to naturally grow as more models become available and become more desirable to fleets. Leaseplan was the only top five leasing company in the UK unable to submit figures to BusinessCar.

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