Fleets of the future will use an increasingly diverse range of fuels – but there remains a mixed picture for diesel company cars despite new technology that is making them more environmentally friendly.
That’s according to new research from Arval, which asked fleet managers how the availability of new diesel vehicles with equal NOx and fine particle emissions to petrol models would impact on their fleet.
44% said they would continue to buy diesel cars and 5% said they would increase their share. However, 29% said they would continue to reduce the number of diesels they operated and 7% that they would persist with their current policy of not buying diesels.
The findings come from the 2019 edition of Arval Mobility Observatory, which covers 3,930 fleets and asks a wide ranging set of questions about fleet and mobility trends.
The research also looked at how diesel vehicles would be replaced in this scenario. Interestingly, just 4% of respondents said they would opt for petrol cars while 22% planned to swap their diesels for alternative fuels.
Shaun Sadlier, Head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “RDE2 diesels are starting to become available and some of them are comparable with petrol on NOx emissions while also offering better CO2output and fuel economy.
“However, it appears that diesel has become so inherently unpopular as the result of recent emissions controversies that there will be no large scale resurgence in its popularity, despite this development.
“Against this backdrop, it is important to note that around half of fleets are planning to continue to operate diesel cars, recognising their suitability in certain situations.”
Sadlier added that it was noteworthy that businesses planning to replace their diesel vehicles are more often intending to switch into alternative fuels rather than petrol.
“Roughly six times as many fleets will be replacing their diesels with hybrids or EVs as with petrol, and this should give a strong push to alternative fuel adoption over the next few years,” said Adler. “Certainly, we see many fleets swapping their diesels for hybrids.
“Our position is very much that the fleet of the future will use a diverse range of fuels, with the emphasis being placed on matching the needs of the driver to the right vehicle, and we are doing a lot of work in helping fleets start to make these decisions.”