Petrol: the past and the future for fleets?12/02/2018
Figures from Dataforce show that petrol is back infavour across the EU "big 5" (UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy).
The market appears to have turned definitively against diesel-engined vehicles. All five countries previously referenced demonstrated a swing towards alternative fuel registrations in the true fleet sector, rising across the field from 4.2pct to 6.7pct. Petrol-engined vehicles, starting from a slightly lower base line in Continental Europe, made very significant gains across the "big 5", climbing from 5.0pct to 19.1pct.
This last statistic is fuel for thought in a sector where petrol was widely viewed as out of favour and heading for obsolescence, with both Norway and the Netherlands talking about banning the sale of petrol-engined vehicles as soon as 2025. France and the UK have given the date of 2040 (the UK including trains as well as road transport), though whether any country will want to wait fifteen years to catch up, and to risk being seen as out of step with environmental thinking, remains to be seen. It is easier for smaller countries (Netherlands population c. 17 million, Norway c. 5 million) to take a lead in this matter and the Netherlands' flat road network makes it attractive for makes of electric vehicles looking to convince fleet managers of their real-world mileage capability.
Dataforce also shows the UK true fleet sector was alone among the EU "big 5" (UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy) in experiencing a downturn in 2017. The Dataforce data reveals the UK market contracted, with true fleet registrations down 5.8pct, compared to growth of 7.2pct in France, 6.2pct in Italy, 2.1pct in Germany and 12.5pct in Spain.
Dataforce suggests the UK downturn can be attributed in part to the new VED regime, while acknowledging that the ongoing political issue of withdrawing from the EU may have put the brakes on long-term thinking among fleet managers.