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Diesel still ‘only realistic choice’ for workhorse fleets, says Pendragon

Switching business-critical and high-mileage fleets to ULEVs would cost fleets more and impact on day-to-day operations.

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Pendragon Vehicle Management claims diesels are the “only realistic choice” for business-critical and high-mileage fleets.

That’s according to Pendragon Vehicle Management (PVM) after its analysis of fleet vehicles indicated that diesel is “the only realistic choice” for such fleets.

The fleet management firm researched a typical 270-strong mixed fleet of diesel vehicles in the construction industry against EVs and PHEVs and said the analysis found it would cost 8.5% more per annum to run a PHEV fleet than a diesel one, equating to an additional spend of £280,000 over two years. This is due to higher P11D values and the monthly rental costs, which counteract the BIK and NIC savings.

In response, Neal Francis, divisional managing director, said recent weeks and months had seen diesel vehicles “prematurely portrayed” in a poor light, adding: “Aged and poorly maintained diesel vehicles are very harmful to the environment. However, for those who change their vehicles typically every 4 years, the new diesel technology and emission standards are class-leading with the economic and environmental argument compelling.”

His comments come as Meridian Vehicle Solutions also reports that diesel is still the default choice for fleet rentals, with latest issues such as the 20% fall in diesel registrations in May and Government plans for a diesel tax regime failing to dent demand.

Meanwhile the FairFuelUK campaign has also spoken out about diesel to express its concerns that “a lack of factual accuracy in the diesel debate, manipulated by environmentalists and opportunist politicians”, has cost consumers £35bn in vehicle depreciation while other sources of particulate and NOx pollution in London get “scant mention”.

Instead the campaign has called for Defra to deliver a “common sense long-term low emissions plan that works” and doesn’t fleece “hard working motorists and small businesses”.

FairFuel UK founder Howard Cox said: “37m UK drivers want DEFRA to review solutions to lowering emissions that don’t involve ineffectual and malevolent knee-jerk tax hikes. There are proven effective methods to improving air quality which FairFuelUK has presented to them.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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