British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association claims that the government has failed to encourage the uptake of plug-in vehicles in the UK
Vehicle rental sector trade body the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) claims that government incentives for low emission vehicles are failing to encourage drivers to use the technology.
And, the group has called for larger tax incentives for companies and individuals looking to purchase low emission vehicles, in order to encourage significant growth in the number of LEVs sold in the UK.
The Department for Transport has announced a series of measures to encourage the uptake in the use of low emission vehicles in a bid to cut transport emissions.
Among the measures, motorists can receive a grant of up to 25% of the cost of an â€˜ultra-low emissionâ€™ vehicle, through the Plug-in Car Grant Scheme- which has been open since January 2011.
But, according to figures published by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) this month, registrations of cars eligible for funding through the scheme grew by just 14% in the first half of 2013, compared to the previous six months. This is despite the overall new car market growing by 17% during the same period.
Meanwhile, registrations of Plug-in Grant-eligible vans actually fell by 27%, with just 119 sold in the first half of 2013, compared to the 163 sold in the second half of 2012.
Commeting on the figures, Gerry Keaney, BVRLA chief executive, said that the rental fleet market could help to encourage a surge in the number of plug in-vehicles being used by motorists, but said that measures such as a ten-year road tax exemption would need to be considered for this to happen.
He said: â€œThese figures show that the current strategy for driving uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles is not working.
â€œThe fleet market buys more than half of all new vehicles registered each year and operates the greenest cars and vans on UK roads. As bulk purchasers, fleet operators could create a huge surge in demand for plug-in vehicles if they were given the right package of incentives. Unfortunately, the current tax regime actually encourages many fleets not to run plug-in vehicles.
â€œThe governmentâ€™s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) recently launched its new strategy and announced that it would look to develop a â€˜strong, clear and lasting set of tax incentives. This work cannot happen soon enough.â€
According to the governmentâ€™s Office for Low Emission Vehicles, as of June 30, as many as 4,553 claims have been made through the Plug-in Car Grant Scheme.