STOCKPORT, U.K. – Businesses in the U.K. are wiping their hands clean of diesel-fueled cars in increasing numbers, a study of commercial-vehicle operators indicates.
The research carried out by vehicle-leasing company Contracthireacar.com shows both large and small businesses are being attracted by economical small gasoline motors and alternative-fuel options including hybrids and electric vehicles.
The study follows figures compiled by the lease- and fleet-management specialist Arval for its 2016 Corporate Vehicle Observatory Barometer, which predicts a 5% overall reduction in U.K. fleets’ use of diesel by 2021.
Contracthireacar.com, comparing its own business from January to July year-over-year and identifies a more immediate diesel reduction among its customers. It reports that from January to July 2015, diesel made up 86% of car-leasing deals, with gasoline 12.8%. Alternative-vehicle fuels such as hybrids and EVs accounted for the remainder.
However, its data covering January-July 2016 stands at 79.3% diesel usage, with gasoline up to 17.6% and alternative fuels increasing to 3.1%.
“With influencing factors ranging from the (Volkswagen emission-cheating scandal) headlines, fuel-price trends, advancements in turbocharged (gasoline) engines…and new London Mayor Sadiq Khan likely to introduce a T-Charge to deter older diesels and bring forward the city’s ULEZ, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing the switch to (gasoline) and particularly hybrids and electrics accelerate,” says Craig Davy, business-development manager-Contracthireacar.com.
“ULEV and EV orders doubling is to be expected, but the 5% switch back to (gasoline) within just a year is somewhat surprising.”
Popular gasoline models leased by the company during first-half 2015 included the Audi A3, BMW 4-Series, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Juke, Vauxhall Corsa and VW Golf. In the first six months of this year the BMW 3-Series, Renault Clio, SEAT Ibiza and VW Scirocco led the company in gasoline-powered-vehicle leasing deals.