The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), whose members own and operate nearly five million cars, vans and trucks on UK roads, has welcomed the publication of today’s Road to Zero strategy.
The BVRLA welcomes the £400 million investment into charging infrastructure and the commitment to ‘provide a uniform method of accessing public charge points’.
The association is also pleased to see acknowledgement of the company car market in the strategy, which includes a commitment to ‘take steps to accelerate the adoption of fuel-efficient motoring by company car drivers, businesses operating fleets, and private motorists’ and would like to understand exactly what steps government intends to take.
Commenting on the report, BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said:
“We welcome the Road to Zero strategy and will continue to work with government to demonstrate the importance of our sector on this journey to zero-emission. BVRLA members have a critical role to play in delivering the Government’s air quality ambitions due to the number of vehicles they purchase each year and the frequency of their replacement cycles.
“The increased grant available through the Workplace Charging Scheme will encourage more companies to install charge points, however, we are still concerned about the cost and complications that fleet operators wanting to install EV infrastructure face when trying to arrange planning permission or deal with local distribution network operators.
“It is critical that the right incentives are in place to support this strategy. Fleets invest billions of pounds on new cars, vans and trucks each year and a significant portion of this purchasing power stands ready to bring thousands more plug-in electric vehicles on to the UK’s roads. This can only happen if they are given the right supporting environment to deliver a managed transition away from petrol and diesel engines.
“As the recent Joint Select Committee on Air Quality recommended, there needs to be a greater alignment between the tax regime and efforts to improve air quality. The tax system is crucial to incentivising the right vehicle choice. We would urge the government to provide clarity at the upcoming Budget as to how this can be achieved. As a start we are calling on the Chancellor to accelerate the introduction of the 2% Company Car Tax band for zero-emission vehicles. This tax band is currently scheduled to increase over the next two years to a high of 16% in 2019/20, before dropping to 2% the year after.
“We know from our latest sustainability study that those taking cash allowances emit an average of 145g/km of CO2 compared to lease car drivers who emit an average of 114g/km CO2. Company cars are cleaner, and government can have a quick win by creating a tax system that incentivises the uptake of company cars, rather than driving people towards cash allowances.”
“Looking further forward, we are desperately in need of a zero-emission taxation roadmap that will give fleet operators the confidence to make long-term investments.
We are starting to work with our members and other stakeholders to develop this roadmap.”
The strategy, which is built around a mission to see all new cars and vans being zero emission by 2040, was unveiled by Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, who is looking to industry to help realise these ambitions: “We expect this transition to be industry and consumer led, supported in the coming years by the measures set out in this strategy. We will review progress by 2025 and consider what interventions are required if not enough progress is being made.”