Diesel no longer the default option for fleets

By Venson
Published: 13 October 2017

Diesel is no longer the default option for business journeys, but it does have its place alongside future newer alternatives, according to Venson Automotive Solutions.

The vehicle leasing and fleet management company has published a new white paper, ‘The Future of Diesel for Fleets’, in which it urged fleet decision makers to future proof their vehicle operation decisions against a changing legislative and taxation background and drive company car choice firmly along the ‘green road’.

However, Venson warns that company car selection decisions must be primarily based on whole life costs and fitness for purpose, and not to the detriment of diesel.

Ultimately, there will be a shift in the make-up of the vast majority of fleets and that should include a mix of vehicles fuelled by petrol and electricity, with diesel continuing to have its place, particularly for high mileage drivers.

Simon Staton, client management director, said: “In the company car sector, fleet decision-makers and drivers have a clear choice of petrol, hybrid, plug-in as well as diesel, which has been the mainstay of corporate travel operations for 15 years. However, the media continues to demonise diesel, calling time on the fuel prematurely.

“We share the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Trader’s belief that today’s range of Euro6 emission diesel cars are a completely different technical offering to the models of yesterday and are the ‘cleanest’ in history.

“Although fleet decision-makers and company car drivers have a tightrope-like balancing act to perform, that means future proofing their vehicle operating decisions against a changing landscape, there is no definitive ‘right’ fleet fuel.

“While diesel as well as petrol, pure electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars all have their merits they also have their drawbacks – financial and operational – that must be taken into account in the decision-making process.”

Mr Staton continued: “In the commercial sector, we anticipate that diesel will remain dominant as, while plug-in vans are available, their viability, notably due to range and payload, only make them suitable for niche requirements.

“In addition, both the government and the Mayor of London are using Euro6 emission standards as the entry criteria to Clean Air Zones and the capital’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone. Whilst emission standards and taxation will continue to tighten over the coming years, with government encouraging adoption of plug-in vehicles, for the short and medium terms, best practice dictates that fleets will operate a mix of fuel types, including diesel.”

The Future of Diesel for Fleets white paper is available for free download here