Fleet Drivers Failing to Charge Plug-In Hybrids

Data compiled by the BBC has revealed that tens of thousands of fleet drivers are undermining the plug-in car grant by failing to charge their vehicles on a regular basis.

Vehicles in corporate fleets averaged just 40mpg when they could have done 130mpg.

The Miles Consultancy said that many drivers may never have unwrapped their charging cables.

Introduced in 2011, the plug-in grant was introduced in 2011, gifting buyers up to £4,500 off new cars.

Company fleets bought the majority of the tens of thousands eligible vehicles sold, including more than 70% of the 37,000 plug-in hybrids sold so far in 2018.

A Cheshire firm, which advises 300 blue-chip companies on fuel management, reveals that many businesses simply used the grant to save on buying regular cars.

Mileage records from 1,500 models showed an average real world mpg of 39.27 against an average manufacturer advertised mpg of 129.68.

2,432 hybrids showed world mpg of 49.06,

The Miles Consultancy’s managing director, Paul Hollick, said “The charge cables are still in the boot, in a cellophane wrapper, while the company and the employee are going in and out of petrol stations, paying for all of this additional fuel”. The practice, He added, was “ridiculous”.

Toby Poston, BVRLA’s communications director said, “We have got some situations where company drivers are choosing the vehicle based on their tax liability, rather than having the right vehicle for the right job.”

Some companies were buying PHEVs (which are best suited to local trips) for employees who did a lot of motorway driving.