Education process on hybrids needed for company car drivers
The company says that more recent model releases such as the Vauxhall Ampera and the “plug in” version of the Toyota Prius offer genuine benefits to driver and fleets but that confusion over the technology on offer could potentially affect the rates of adoption.
Gary Killeen, Fleet Services Commercial Leader for GE Capital UK (pictured), said: ‘Many types of new drive train technologies are arriving on the market at the moment and we are getting reports from fleet managers that drivers simply do not understand the choices on offer.
‘This is potentially a problem. The new hybrid technologies could be excellent choices for company car drivers and fleets thanks to their low CO2 output and excellent fuel economy but there is a danger that a driver will not understand the difference between, for example, a full electric car with a very limited range and a plug in hybrid that can be used in much the same way as any normal car.
‘It would be very disappointing if the new hybrids did not enjoy the speed of success that they deserve simply because fleet managers, manufacturers and leasing companies are slow to effectively communicate their advantages to drivers. Everyone in the industry has a responsibility to educate,’ he added.
Killeen added that, even when the positive messages about hybrids reaches company car drivers, it did not mean that change would happen quickly.
He said: ‘If you look back to the 1980s and 1990s, it took more than a decade for the average company car to become diesel rather than petrol powered. These changes do not take place overnight.
‘Our prediction for the fleet of the 2020 is that the on-going drive towards lower CO2 and improved fuel economy will mean the presence of various hybrids and electric vehicles operating alongside conventional petrol and diesel engines. Each fleet and driver will make a choice based on his or her own priorities, needs and preferences. However, for this to happen, the fleet industry has to ensure that drivers have the information needed to make an informed decision,’ he concluded.