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Plug-in hybrid models: demand expected to rise from fleet sector

THE demand for plug-in hybrid and zero emission electric vehicles is expected to increase with the arrival of the all-new Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP).

And it’s going to be driven by fleet and company car drivers, reckons new Federation member Marcus Puddy from Puddy Vehicle Solutions (PVS).

That’s because these models are likely to be the least affected by potential increases in motoring taxes.

A new PVS white paper, ‘Real World Driving Emissions’, aims to provide fleet decision-makers with insight into how WLTP and the related Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test procedure will impact on car CO2 emissions and in turn company car benefit-in-kind tax, Vehicle Excise Duty and capital allowances, which are all based on CO2 figures, as well as fuel economy.

PVS founder Marcus Puddy, who has a 30-year fleet industry career behind him, believes many fleet managers – and consequently company car drivers – remain in the dark about the potential impact of WLTP and RDE on vehicle choice lists. As a result, making the ‘wrong’ car choice could land employers and employees with tax bills significantly higher than currently.

Industry experts have suggested that CO2 emissions on a car-for-car basis could be as much as 20% higher under WLTP testing than the outdated New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) regime, which it is replacing. While MPG figures are also anticipated reduce by around 20% or more, the new test is expected to deliver fuel economy information closer to real world performance and thus fuel bills are unlikely to increase.

Puddy said:

“Company car drivers are unaware of the implications of WLTP on their benefit-in-kind tax bills because, in many cases, fleet decision-makers have not told them about the impact of the new testing regime. Fleet chiefs must get to grips with WLTP and disseminate that information to drivers, otherwise they could be in for a major shock when they change their company car.

Marcus Puddy managing director PVS Ltd
Marcus Puddy: company car drivers unaware

“Employees that are choosing new company cars now and over the coming two years will almost inevitably see their benefit-in-kind tax burden rise. However, by making careful choices they can minimise any increase.”

WLTP is the new laboratory-based emissions and fuel economy testing procedure replacing the NEDC regime. It is being introduced in two phases for cars – new models from September 2017 and all cars from September 2018.

It is being accompanied by introduction of the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test procedure, which is undertaken on open roads and focuses on the reduction of emission levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particle numbers (PN) and so combined with WLTP data is claimed to result in more accurate real-world emissions as well as MPG figures. RDE is also being phased in with RDE2 applicable from January 2020 for all new car models and by January 2021 for all new cars being the critical dates from a tax perspective.

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