What fuel choice will you make with your next vehicle?

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DIESEL

Diesel engines are more efficient and use 15-20% less fuel and they tend to have a higher resale value (RV).  They emit less CO2 emissions which means lower tax bands.  The driving experience for a diesel will give more low speed torque therefore enabling better overtaking power and towing ability.

However, studies have shown that particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel vehicles are detrimental to health.  The government have shifted from promoting the diesel engine to actively discouraging and there are discussions on introducing  financial incentives to change from older diesel, pre Euro IV; potentially offering a set trade in value which would be higher than the resalable value of the vehicle.

A scrappage scheme is being discussed by the Mayor of London who has commissioned a report on Diesel engines.  New Euro 6 engine won’t qualify if located outside one of the CAZ (Clean Air Zones) cities.  The first five cities identified by the Government are Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Nottingham and Southampton. The consultation implementation review has completed and the results should be published in early April 2017. PVS will watch for the results and report on the findings when released.

UK Cities are beginning to introduce charges to deter polluting diesel vehicles from CAZ in urban centres, London in 2017 and Birmingham in 2018 to start with, more will follow suit.  E.g. London is imposing higher charges for parking permits on diesel-drivers.

Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens have all commented recently that they will look to ban diesel cars from their cities by 2025.

Things to Consider:

  • Currently Diesels have a 3% surcharge on taxable benefit in kind over petrol models with similar emissions because they emit a higher amount of harmful particulates. Find out more about taxable benefits in kind here.
  • Will you cover enough miles to cover the increased cost of a diesel engine car? To quote WhatCar.com ‘on economy alone, owners would need to cover more than 130,000 miles in a diesel before fuel economy/purchase price equation levels out.’ If purchasing a diesel!
  • Diesel cost more at the pump but you get more miles per gallon (mpg)
  • Find details here on car tax for vehicles registered on or after 1st April 2017.

ELECTRIC

Electric cars are quieter, cheaper on operating costs, have zero tailpipe emissions and can be charged at home if you have the facilities installed.  New technology is developing rapidly and therefore EVs need some serious consideration.

That said though zero-emission cars aren’t totally pollution free.  A study by the University of Edinburgh showed that EV cars are 24 per cent heavier than an equivalent internal combustion engine, predominantly due to their battery packs being heavier.  In laboratory tests this resulted in the production of higher particle matter from the wearing of tyres and brakes but EV experts have mooted these findings as lab results don’t reflect the real world.

Things to consider:

  • Charge Point Types. There are four main electric vehicle charging types: Slow (up to 3kW) which is best suited for 6-8 hours overnight; Fast (7-22kW) which can fully recharge some models in 3-4 hours; and Rapid AC and DC (43-50kW) which are able to provide an 80% charge in around 30 minutes – where will you charge yours?
  • There is a cost to install a charging unit at your home, however, The Electric Vehicle Home charge Scheme (EVHS) provides grant funding of up to 75% towards to the cost of installing a charge point up to the value of £500. More details can be found on Gov.uk website. Prices quoted for installation from chargemasterplc.com range from £279 - £1200 dependent on kW size.
  • The average range is approximately 80 to 100 miles on a single full charge, ideal for daily needs, however planning is required for longer journeys to factor in stops to re-charge and the length of recharge needed. Not all re-charging points are free of charge.
  • EVs are exempt from Car Tax but from 2015/16 EVs have been subject to benefit in kind tax albeit at a much reduced cost. Find out more about taxable benefits in kind here.

HYBRID & PLUG IN HYBRID (PHEV)

There has been a remarkable surge in demand for Hybrid and plug-in Hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) in the UK over the last few years, despite the purchase price being more expensive.  Vehicles with Alternative Fuel are increasingly becoming more popular. This has helped contribute to around 90,000 plug-in electric vehicles now on the roads in 2017, with PHEV models offering excellent flexibility, featuring the benefits of a battery electric vehicle’s motor combined with the range of a petrol or diesel engine.

The vehicles contain two engines; typically a gasoline engine and either an electric or hydrogen engine.  They can drive an average of five miles per gallon farther than their non-hybrid equivalents.  A hybrid car produces 25 to 35% less in CO2 emissions than regular cars and because they are better for environment they can travel through London’s congestion zone free of charge.

They are quieter, produce less carbon emissions and the choice of cars is on the increase.

Things to consider:

  • Charge Point Types. There are four main electric vehicle charging types: Slow (up to 3kW) which is best suited for 6-8 hours overnight; Fast (7-22kW) which can fully recharge some models in 3-4 hours; and Rapid AC and DC (43-50kW) which are able to provide an 80% charge in around 30 minutes – where will you charge yours?
  • There is a cost to install a charging unit at your home, however, The Electric Vehicle Home charge Scheme (EVHS) provides grant funding of up to 75% towards to the cost of installing a chargepoint up to the value of £500. More details can be found on Gov.uk website. Prices quoted for installation from chargemasterplc.com range from £279 - £1200 dependent on kW size.
  • The driving experience can be disconcerting for drivers when on electric power only, the lack of noise when sitting in traffic causes anxiety about having possibly stalled the car! Plus there have been concerns raised over the safety of pedestrians with regards to not being able to hear a vehicle powered on electric approaching them.
  • Find details here on car tax for vehicles registered on or after 1st April 2017.
  • After the first year Alternative Fuel cars will pay £130 per year, £10 cheaper than Petrol, for cars valued over £40,000 an additional £310 is payable in the first five years.
  • Find out more about taxable benefits in kind here.

PETROL

Petrol is becoming more efficient, they generally cost less than diesel cars and Alternate Fuel vehicles and fuel is slightly cheaper at the pump, resulting in cheaper running costs.  Petrol engines are more refined and less noisy than diesels.

The perception that they will be less expensive as a leased company car is not entirely accurate.  Whilst generally having a cheaper purchase price and paying 3% less benefit in kind tax than diesel, the diesel offers lower emissions which results in lower vehicle tax, plus diesel has a higher Resalable Value (RV).  Together with this and a higher mpg from a diesel, consideration of opting for Petrol is advised.

Consider this:

  • Petrol cars depreciate in value more quickly and their engines are less efficient (although improving)
  • Generally, Petrol is more efficient for round town and short commutes than diesel, but not in comparison to EVs, Hybrids and PHEVs.
  • Find details here on car tax for vehicles registered on or after 1st April 2017.
  • After the first year Petrol cars will pay £140 per year, for cars valued over £40,000 an additional £310 is payable in the first five years
  • Find out more about taxable benefits in kind here.

 

THE FUTURE

For the foreseeable future there will be a mix of fuel types but the trend will be to move towards more plug-in technology:

  • Diesel and Petrol – higher mileage driving with diesel on motorways and non-urban environments, petrol if more urban driving requirements
  • Hybrid – improved fuel efficiency and reduced tailpipe emissions compared to traditional fuels, especially petrol hybrids in urban driving
  • Plug in Hybrids and E-REV’s – advancement on full hybrids allowing greater distances on pure electric vehicles, benefits urban driving but with no ‘range anxiety’
  • Pure Electric – urban drive cycles with some now able to push into the extra urban space (g. Tesla, over 250 mile range)

 

This information doesn’t cover all the pros and cons regarding all vehicles fuel types but gives you food for thought and hopefully gives you a starting point on the way to researching which is the right fuel type for your future driving experience.

Future proof your driving and research what car to purchase next!