The latest Budget, which increased fuel duty by 3ppl and significantly tightened the link between company car tax and carbon emissions, has increased the importance for fleet decision makers of selecting the lowest carbon-emitting vehicles, many of which are available for driving at the EV & Low CO2 Fleet Show at Silverstone in just over two weeks’ time.
At the Show, on Wednesday April 18, several manufacturers will be giving premieres to some of the most interesting new low carbon and hybrid technology offerings available on the market today.
Ross Durkin, managing editor of organisers, Fleet World, said: “This year’s Budget, with its hike in fuel duty and increases in company car tax rates, has reinforced the importance for companies and their drivers of selecting low carbon vehicles to keep their tax bills and operating costs as low as possible.
“However, all is not lost as the major motor manufacturers have done such a brilliant job of reducing carbon emissions from their cars that it is possible to select models that make running an ultra-green fleet a relatively straightforward operation.
“Who would have dreamed when the current carbon dioxide-based tax system was introduced that you would be able to choose a BMW 5 Series with emissions of just 119g/km?
“This year’s Show gives fleet decision makers the ideal opportunity to see at first hand some of the latest low carbon technologies available – and to try them out for themselves. It also provides the perfect forum to discuss some of the latest mobility trends affecting the fleet industry and we have assembled a line-up of top speakers capable of doing just that,” he said.
Amongst new model launches at the Show, Peugeot will be unveiling its new 208 supermini, which boasts three diesels and one petrol engine under the 99g/km mark in its engine line-up and goes on sale in June.
There will be another UK debut from Citroën with the new 200bhp DS5 Hybrid4, the world’s first hybrid diesel, boasting fuel consumption of 74.3mpg and CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.
Both Citroen and Peugeot have recently announced a significant reduction in the price of their all-electric C-Zero and iOn models to just £21,216 after the Government’s £5,000 plug-in car grant, alongside competitive contract hire monthly rentals of just £249pcm. Both organisations have also announced the expansion of their EV specialist sales networks.
The new models at the Show join the ultra-low carbon offerings from a variety of manufacturers, including, Nissan, Renault, Vauxhall, BMW, Toyota and Lexus, who will have their latest low emission and electric vehicles on offer. And joining them is luxury car maker Infiniti, whose M35h hybrid saloon was best in class at last year’s ALD Automotive / Shell FuelSave MPG Marathon.
Commercial vehicles available for test driving will include the new Edison and Newton models from Smith Electric Vehicles, plus Renault’s 100% electric Kangoo Van Z.E.
The recharging industry will also be there in force with major players, including ABB, Ecar Connectors, ENSTO, Siemens, Schneider and Rolec Services, taking space in the event’s indoor exhibition area in order to explain to fleet managers how they can provide the optimum on-site recharging solution for electric vehicles.
The event has attracted a number of contract hire and leasing companies, including Venson Automotive Solutions and Inchcape Fleet Solutions, allowing fleet buyers to discuss the supply and funding of electric vehicles as well as the full range of other low-emission cars and vans with contract hire providers.
The EV & Low CO2 Fleet Show is free to fleet operators and is being sponsored by the Energy Saving Trust in association with the British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association, the trade association of the UK’s leasing and rental industries.
The show will be based in the new state-of-the-art Silverstone Wing conference and event facility, situated in the heart of the Grand Prix Circuit, and boasting two exhibition halls, a conference hall, banqueting facilities and the latest technical and AV equipment.
All test-driving of electric, hybrid and other low-CO2 vehicles will include two or three laps of the Stowe Circuit, a separate infield circuit with its own facilities, and visitors will be able to book provisional test drives in advance directly with the relevant motor manufacturer.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to hear the latest thinking on a range of fleet topics in a morning-long series of fleet seminars from a team of highly respected presenters. After lunch there will also be a Question Time-style debate, sponsored by Venson Automotive Solutions and chaired by John Lewis, Chief Executive of the BVRLA, at which fleet decision makers can discuss some of the topics presented earlier in the day.