Quit Club: Toyota urges businesses to ‘stop smoking by quitting diesel’
Businesses are being encouraged to switch their company vehicle fleets from diesel engines to petrol hybrids in a new initiative launched by Toyota & Lexus Fleet Services this month.
The Quit Club – the newest phase of the company’s Quit Smoking for Good campaign, likens the emissions diesel cars produce to smoking, while promoting the economic benefits of switching to low-emissions vehicle fleets.
“These days it’s quite easy to steer clear of cigarette smoke, but it is much more difficult to escape from diesel emissions,” general manager of Toyota & Lexus Fleet Services Neil Broad said. “Combustion exhaust is in the air all around us and is linked to an estimated 5,000 premature deaths in the UK each year.”
The company expects restrictions in the UK on vehicle emissions to increase as, last year, the European Commission launched proceedings against the UK for failing to deal with air pollution.
Using petrol hybrid vehicles would mean businesses will not fall foul of any tighter regulations as their emissions contain no dangerous diesel particulates and only a tiny fraction of the nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted by current diesels, combined with low levels of CO2.
Toyota & Lotus says there are also financial incentives to switching: businesses already using petrol full hybrid are rewarded with substantially lower company tax liabilities as well as slower depreciation and reduced maintenance costs. Meanwhile, the drivers can save significantly on benefit in kind (BIK) tax.
Lower Tax Liabilities
As these savings will vary for businesses, the Quit Club provides comparison tables on its website to help members choose the right models for their organisation. A business which had bought 20 Lexus IS 300h SE cars outright, running them for 60,000 miles per year, would save £50,000 over three years on using diesel models. Each driver would also save £2,000 on BIK tax.
Dieting company Slimming World has already joined the scheme and is set to save £500,000, and its drivers an average of £5,000 each over three years by switching to petrol hybrids.
Broad added: “Having long championed and pioneered petrol hybrid technology, Toyota & Lexus Fleet Services is ideally placed to bring fleet customers its full financial and environmental advantages. If yours is a business that cares about its impact on people’s health as well as its bottom line, come to the Quit Club and find out how you can become a successful quitter too.”
In related green vehicle fleet news this week a consortium, led by energy technology group Intelligent Energy, has embarked on a £12.7m project to develop a new class of zero-emission, light commercial vehicles.
The goal is to provide fleet operators with a solution that enables vehicle operation for extended periods whilst being emissions free at the tailpipe, by integrating fuel cell technology into battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
The consortium will receive a £6.3m grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). APC’s director of technology and parts Jon Beasley said: “Our aim is to position the UK as a global centre for low carbon propulsion systems development and production.”
“This consortium of British companies is helping the APC to deliver its aim with this innovative project that uses hydrogen fuel cell technologies. It has the potential to deliver a viable zero-emission vehicle for fleet operators around the world.”
Increasing Resale Value
Figures released this week revealed that the uptake of electric vehicles globally is rapidly increasing. Around 320,000 new electric vehicles were registered around the world in 2014, accounting for 43% of all electric vehicles currently on the road.
They have been made an even more attractive proposition as Glass’s reported that the resale value of electric cars will soon match their diesel counterparts.