By Ross Williams
AS I read back through my offerings to Business Times readers there does seem to be one recurring theme, the introduction of more and more hybrids and whether or not we should ditch our diesels.
I hope it's not becoming monotonous (a rhetorical question of course!) and I do look for other topics to write about, I promise.
So... Ford are doubling their investment in electric and hybrid vehicles, nice to see the boys from Detroit staying up with the competition, even if it is a bit late. The Government's roll out of charge points up and down the country (only announced at the end of 2017) has already run into trouble as local councils are unable to afford their 25 per cent share of the required investment.
Echoing previous comments in this column is an announcement from the ICFM (Institute of Car Fleet Management) calling for rational decision making over the adoption of ULEV's and not to choose them simply because of the current tax loopholes. There is great concern about increased operating costs, which cancel out tax savings. The real time fuel economy of many of these vehicles is 45mpg, a lot less than the advertised consumption and certainly less than a diesel car. You do the maths, as the man from Dacia says.
And to show that it's not all about hybrids... and perhaps proving that diesel isn't dead, the very long awaited new Honda Civic diesel hits the showrooms in February and is open for ordering now. With Honda claiming a 76mpg fuel consumption figure then this car fills a big hole in their model line up and brings Honda back onto a lot of driver choice lists.
The 2017 van sales figures released in January showed an increase in sales of smaller variants reflecting good demand from the construction trades and increased sales of pickups, still proving popular to avoid company car tax. Sales of large vans are reducing as operators await the introduction of... you guessed it, hybrid options to enable the vans to go into low emission city centres.!
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