Fleet Insurance Company Investigates If Government Fleet Incentives Will Be Enough
The necessary focus on going greener in the midst of our economic challenges makes us as a fleet insurance company pose the question whether the government incentives will be enough?
The UK Government announced at the end of July 2010 that more than 1 million pounds will be made available to fleet managers. This is part of the Infrastructure Grant Programme and is an incentive for switching to electric vehicles or alternative fuels.
This programme will be managed by Cenex, who will manage the programme on behalf of the Department of Transport. All of this is part of the initiative to cut the sector’s carbon emissions by 14 per cent over the next ten years.
Cenex is the UK’s Centre for Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies. Robert Evans, Cenex Chief Executive explained that the costs of installing, recharging and refuelling has been quite off putting to fleet managers when considering the switch.
The funding will be available to businesses of all sizes and the grants can account for as much as 50 per cent of the total cost of installing a new fuel infrastructure.
So what are the criteria to qualify for this funding?
-Grant applications need to be made and accepted before the investment
-Refuelling sites must be open for third party access and be based in the UK
-Dispensing attachments need to comply with industry accepted vehicle health and safety standards
-Grants are awarded after successful assessment and allocation of funding by an independent private sector led board
Who is eligible?
-Companies of all sizes are eligible to apply
-Any private of public sector firm who is interested in installing refuelling or recharging vehicles can apply for a grant
-Companies located outside of the UK may apply once the investments will be carried out in the UK
Plug In Car Grant
Additionally there is the Plug-In Car Grant, as announced by Philip Hammond. From 2011 fleet drivers and private motorists will be entitled to a ‘Plug-In Car Grant’ of up to 5,000.
To qualify for this grant you need to buy an electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell car. The vehicles must meet reliability, performance and warranty standards set by the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) in consultation with industry.
Short Term Leasing On The Increase
However the Managing Director of Equalease, Paul Ashton, has announced in August 2010 that the number of fleets which are renewing on a rolling short term basis is increasing. Therefore companies are opting to renew on 3 or 6 month contracts.
Many businesses do not want to enter into either long term lease arrangements or buy new vehicles at a time of such economic uncertainty. Even though there is an additional cost of 20-25% per month, many businesses are opting to pay this in favour of the flexibility it allows to them.