To mark Green GB Week the BVRLA has released new data demonstrating the green credentials of its members and written to city authorities across the UK offering to support their efforts in improving local air quality.
From January 2020 cities across the UK will begin implemented their ‘Clean Air Zones’ (CAZ) as part of their plans to tackle illegal levels of pollution. The BVRLA’s ‘Fleet Sustainability Credentials’ show the rental and leasing sectors are already leading the transition to cleaner transport, with 94% of the car rental fleet and 75% of leased cars CAZ compliant just fifteen months before the first zones are expected to begin operating. These compliance figures are well ahead of the average for all UK cars, where only 57% meet CAZ emission requirements.
The results are even starker for the commercial vehicle sector - which is the largest target for most local authority CAZs. Only 13% of the UK van fleet is currently CAZ-compliant, compared to over a third (37%) of all leased vans and over half (56%) of the rental van fleet.
Rental and leased vehicles are managed on a frequent renewal cycle which means that the vast majority of the car and van fleet will be CAZ-compliant by 2020. Going forward, the sector will continue to provide a vital supply of younger, cleaner CAZ-compliant vehicles into the second-hand market, where they provide a more affordable option for businesses and individuals looking to upgrade their vehicles.
The BVRLA’s new Fleet Sustainability Credentials highlight the particular dilemma facing the commercial vehicle sector. Several CAZ proposals put forward so far stipulate that any HGV lower than the Euro VI emissions standard will attract a daily fee of up to £100 to enter.
Only 36% of the total UK HGV fleet is currently Euro VI, but this rises to 65% for rented and leased trucks. As the lifecycle of a rented or leased HGV is significantly longer than that of a van or car, it will take longer for these vehicles to reach the second-hand market, where they can provide a more affordable option for fleets looking to acquire CAZ-compliant trucks. This, coupled with an insufficient supply of new Euro VI trucks over the next 15 months, means many businesses will struggle to avoid paying the new CAZ HGV charges.
Gerry Keaney, Chief Executive of the BVRLA said: “These figures show in no uncertain terms that our sector offers the fastest route to clean air in our urban areas.
“Our members offer a range of flexible and affordable solutions for every application and stand ready to assist individuals and businesses that are looking to replace older, more polluting vehicles with cleaner and greener options.”
Over the past 18 months, the BVRLA and its members have worked closely with local transport policymakers in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Derby and Nottingham in helping them to devise fleet-focussed air quality plans. Earlier this year, the Government asked a further 23 local authorities to formulate plans to tackle local air pollution. These plans could include the creation of several extra CAZs, with full proposals due to be submitted in December 2018.
The BVRLA has today written to all 23 authorities reaffirming its commitment to working collaboratively to ensure air quality plans are proportionate and effective. CAZs can be an important tool to tackle air quality issues in heavily polluted areas, but any introduction must be balanced against the potential impact on the wider economy and people’s quality of life.
Gerry Keaney, added: “A comprehensive national framework is vital to ensure we get the consistency of signage, charging and restrictions required by fleets operating across the UK.
“In our letters to the local authorities we explain the wealth of knowledge and experience that we can put at their disposal, with our members being able to represent the views of both small and large, as well as local and national fleet operators. We all want to see fewer, cleaner vehicles used in cities, and the best chance of delivering this new vision of urban mobility will come from working together.”