20 September 2018
The Operational Fleet Insight Report 2018 revealed high levels of frustration with “anti-diesel rhetoric” among managers who see cleaner diesel vehicles as a means of improving air quality in the UK’s cities. Indeed, three-quarters (73%) of fleet managers believe diesel vehicles produce fewer harmful emissions than ever before.
More than 500 fleet managers and drivers said that diesel continues to be the most popular commercial fuel due to a lack of cost-effective alternatively fuelled vehicles. More than a third (35%) of managers expect to use electric vehicles (EVs) in the next five years, but the majority doubt the suitability of such models for long-haul journeys or transporting heavy goods.
Struggling to plan
The report also challenged the government’s approach towards air quality improvements, with managers reporting their struggle to plan for a potentially fragmented clean air policy, which differs from city to city. Businesses are calling on the government to consider a national policy framework to set clearer parameters for success.
Edmund King, AA president says: “Fleets are the backbone of British industry, and the AA is committed to providing businesses with the guidance they need to help them to make the most of the upcoming EV revolution.
New technologies like EVs are expensive and, unless these costs are mitigated up-front, only the largest fleets will be able to benefit from low-emission vehicles
“Businesses are highly engaged in trialling and learning more about alternatively fuelled vehicles, but a number of factors are discouraging take-up and managers are struggling to plan for a potentially fragmented clean air policy.
“It’s now time for Government, local councils and manufacturers to step up the quality of support they provide to fleet managers, particularly SMEs.”
King continues: “New technologies like EVs are expensive and, unless these costs are mitigated up-front, only the largest fleets will be able to benefit from low-emission vehicles.
“Until fleet managers are reassured of this, cleaner diesel will continue to be regarded as the best form of compromise.”
Download The Operational Fleet Report 2018 (pdf)