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When it comes to choosing fuel, there are currently more options available than ever before. With such variety available, it’s also now easier than ever to find the right fuel for your needs. Are you looking to lower your running costs? Or perhaps you want to minimise your carbon footprint? Thanks to the different types of fuel available, you’re sure to find the most suitable fuel for your fleet.
But how do you find the best fuel for your fleet? Here are your options:
For the last 20 years, diesel engines have been the most popular option for fleets. This is partly because diesel offers improved fuel consumption over petrol engines. However, the biggest reason for fleet managers choosing to switch to diesel is because of the taxation change in 2002, when CO2 was used to set the level of Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) tax on company cars.
However, although CO2 emissions are lower in diesel engines, the release of particulates and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions is higher. NOx is known to cause breathing problems and impacts local air quality, which is why manufactures have had to create new technology to remove these harmful emissions.
In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence in the popularity of petrol engines. This is thanks to the smaller capacity, fewer cylinders and addition of turbochargers to the new versions, narrowing the gap between diesel and petrol engines when is comes to CO2 emissions.
Unfortunately, these smaller engines have become prone to overheating, resulting in an increase in fuel consumption as the vehicle cools down. Companies are already working hard to solve this issue, so it’s worth bearing petrol engines in mind for the future when thinking about your fleet.
Hybrids may have become rather popular in the US, but they’ve still not become mainstream in the UK. Despite only gaining a small foothold in the UK and Europe, hybrid engines are still an excellent option for a fleet. That’s because most hybrid engines have lower CO2 emissions that diesel vehicles of the same size, and they’re also exempt from paying the 3% supplement on BIK tax that comes with diesel engines, even if it’s a diesel hybrid.
Hybrids are a particularly good choice for city-based fleets, as the battery is charged by frequent braking and stopping. However, for fleets that spend a lot of time on the motorway, a hybrid vehicle probably isn’t the best option.
For fleets that only take short trips, the plug-in hybrid is perfect. Able to run for between 15 and 35 miles, a plug-in hybrid vehicle isn’t popular with fleets. However, these vehicles enjoy a lower BIK tax than others, and they have a reasonable price tag, too.
The first modern battery cars were introduced in 2010. Although the number of vehicles on the roads with battery EV engines remains low, the technology has evolved and become ever-better. These engines have a lower cost-per-mile than petrol or diesel and also tend to last longer, with less moving parts equating to less wear and tear. However, the infrastructure to support plug-in cars is unfortunately less than perfect, making it a potentially poor option for a fleet, if you’re travelling on long journeys and relying on charging points that are few and far between.
My job is to be the customer champion. When I am not working on projects that are meaningful for our customers and our brand, I’m probably online shopping, doing yoga or nattering on the phone.