The majority of public sector fleets in the UK are changing their employee mobility and fleet strategies to meet government targets. This could create opportunities but also bring threats for OEMs and leasing companies.
A survey of fleet professionals in the public sector found that austerity measures are restricting spending among many departments, with nearly half saying it impacted the size and quality of the fleet that was operated.
About one-third of fleets say they have halted some purchases, while 36% indicate replacement cycles have been extended.
However, public sector fleets are willing to invest where there are clearly defined short-term savings available.
More than half of fleets have introduced telematics or already plan to, as this can have an immediate impact on fuel economy and vehicle misuse. In addition, 58% say they are introducing new transport strategies to reduce emissions and meet government targets.
For 38%, this includes the introduction of ultra-low emission vehicles, including electric cars (EVs), while more than one-third have already taken action by acquiring EVs or running trials.
Oliver Boots, brand director of Automotive Leasing, the public sector arm of LeasePlan which carried out the survey, said: ‘The impact that the changing political landscape will have on the public sector is very apparent.’
Earlier this year, Autovista Intelligence warned fleet suppliers that they needed to gather information from local government contacts to assess the risk of purchasing bans being introduced on diesel cars.
In the UK, elected members of several city-based local authorities have agreed to ban diesel cars to protect residents from the effects of air pollution which they believe is caused by diesel vehicles. Several others are pushing for restrictions.
The City of London Corporation has banned diesel vehicles from its 300-vehicle fleet, if alternatives are available.
A purchasing ban is also under review at Camden Borough Council. Outside London, local authorities including Leicester have shifted away from diesel.
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