When the Government announced it was bringing forward its ban on the sale of new cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel, it came as no great surprise.
Having been muted in the press for some time, the November statement simply confirmed that we must now all start planning for electric vehicles on our fleets.
Yes, there is a slight reprieve in that some hybrids will still be allowed beyond that date. But the reality is that during the next nine years it’s going to become increasingly expensive to drive combustion engine vehicles, more restrictive as clean air zones come into play, and companies not committing to the green agenda could find themselves being penalised in tenders. It’s for this reason that 2030 should be viewed as a final cut off rather than a target date.
So, how are businesses responding?
According to Lee Brown who heads up the Grosvenor Group’s award-winning 0Zone solution, the answer is ‘very well’.
“There may be talk about range anxiety, worries about charging infrastructure and the suitability of electric vehicles,” said Lee, “yet almost 50% of all new vehicles we’re delivering to Grosvenor Leasing and Interactive Fleet management customers are now either fully electric or ultra-low emission.
“Customers such as Weetabix, Tata Steel, Glenmorangie Whisky and many others have a clear roadmap to convert their fleet to zero emission and our 0Zone team has never been busier, advising companies on their ULEV and EV policies.”
Having won the GreenFleet award in December 2020 for Best Leasing Company, the Kettering-based Grosvenor Group has been leading the way in driving down emissions for their customers for many years.
Its 0Zone solution, which helps companies make the smooth transition to ultra-low emission and electric vehicles was ahead of its time when launched in 2017. Since then, 0Zone has grown into an intrinsic part of Grosvenor’s proposition and is made up of three key areas; environmental, financial and operational.
“We adopt a very practical, straightforward and transparent approach so that companies with cars and light commercial vehicles are very clear about how we are going to move them towards a zero-emission future and what potential hurdles they face along the way,” continued Lee.
“As part of the environmental aspect of our support, we look at how to drive down CO2 levels as part of a zero-emission goal. Then operationally we look at how ULEVs and EVs fit into their current operational requirements and business needs, and as part of a financial analysis we consider the cost implications of moving to alternative fuels, including whole life costs, taxation, NI and other key considerations.
“Companies looking to go green also benefit from an assessment of their environmental impact and because our role is to encourage drivers into alternative fuels, we also offer some innovative thinking as well as practical advice.
“A good example is our ultra-low emission transition scheme. This enables drivers to try out alternative fuel vehicles on short-term contracts so that they can grow accustomed to new technology, overcoming the hesitancy of change.
“Salary sacrifice is also a very good option. This is financially attractive to both employer and employee for any cars under 50g/km CO2, which is why uptake has been growing.
“We can also offer workshops with drivers to answer all of their questions on electric vehicles, which goes a long way to facilitating the transition.
“Between now and 2030, every time a driver chooses a traditional petrol or diesel engine it commits their employer to that car for another three to four years, which is why it’s important to offer a range of measures and support to expedite the process.”
For more information, contact Grosvenor Leasing on 01536 536536 or visit www.thegrosvenorgroup.co.uk