Fleet owners are increasingly looking at their emissions as new European guidelines threaten to escalate their costs and restrict their operations. As the UK comes under intense pressure to tackle air pollution in its cities, restrictions on emissions are becoming increasingly stringent and fleet owners can expect to see higher penalties for non-compliance. Fleet owners that don’t take action now to invest in greener technology risk their entire fleet becoming obsolete or, at best, a drain on their business.
Taking out specialist fleet insurance from a provider such as Staveley Head is another way to safeguard your business from the challenges ahead. The UK is failing to meet EU standards on air pollution. Emissions from traffic can lead to all sorts of health problems, including an increased risk of heart attack, asthma and other respiratory diseases.
New European guidelines to tackle air pollution are seeing calls for the introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in a number of cities across the UK. And from January next year there will be even tighter restrictions on the LEZ operating in Greater London. Drivers operating in LEZs have to conform with strict emission standards or pay a hefty charge.
It’s clear that the future of UK transport is green, but as well as the environmental benefits of reducing emissions, fleet owners can also cut costs by complying with the new regulations, not least from reduced fuel costs.
The need to comply with emissions standards is dominating the industry and with manufacturers developing cleaner engines, alternative fuels and electric cars the race is on to replace your fleet with greener vehicles, sooner rather than later. In the next few years fleet owners can expect to see more and more restrictions on the types of vehicle they operate and more pressure to either upgrade, replace or modify their fleet. New vehicles are being made with the regulations in mind, but there are still millions of vehicles on the road which do not conform. However, it is simply not an option for most businesses to scrap their existing fleets and replace them with new electric or hybrid vehicles.
One option is to retrofit your vehicles with filters which conform to the new emissions targets but this is likely to be a short-term solution to a longer term problem. It is more advisable to start to replace your fleet with greener vehicles as the old vehicles fall out of use.
Owners of larger fleets are reaping the benefits of investing in electric and hybrid vehicles. Not only are these cars greener but they are also more economical to run. In addition, many large businesses, such as Barclays Bank, are choosing to cap their carbon emissions and incentivise their drivers to choose lower emitting cars.
Many large businesses are getting ahead of the game by teaching their staff to drive more smartly and investing in more electric and hybrid vehicles. Around 800 electric cars have been purchased this year with funding from the Government, around 75% of which are for business use.