An appeal for “clear government strategy that we can all hang our hat on” was made by Paul Tate, commodity manager at Siemens, speaking during the ‘Fleet Managers’ Excellence in Action’ debate at the 2018 ICFM Annual National Members’ Conference.

Answering a question on the taxation of electric vehicles and the introduction of Clean Air Zones, he said: “We need to know where we are going for the future.”

The government’s plan to increase company car benefit-in-kind tax on cars with emissions:

• 0-50g/km of CO2 from 9% in 2017/18 to 13% in 2018/19
• 16% in 2019/20, before reducing to 2% (depending on electric mileage range) in 2020/21

Has been criticised across the industry for putting a brake on plug-in car sales; while ministers have passed responsibility to local authorities for introducing Clean Air Zones prompting concerns of an inconsistent piecemeal approach, particularly to entry criteria.

Mr Tate, alongside Dale Eynon, director DEFRA Group Fleet Services at the Environment Agency, and Stewart Lightbody, head of fleet services at Anglian Water Services, each outlined the steps they were taking in introducing plug-in vehicles.

The government has already announced that it plans to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040 – hybrid models will continue to be available – and Mr Tate said: “The countdown to 2040 is on: what is the right strategy for fleet professionals to meet our obligations?”

Jaama is a major supporter of ICFM with managing director Martin Evans a board member and Mr Tate, pointing out that legislation was changing and influencing vehicle decision-making, he said: “It is key for fleet managers to meet operational requirements. As fleet professionals we need to have the right tools for the job. We need to look to the future and be able to react and set policies. One size does not fit all and only by having intelligent conversations can we arrive at a strategy for the future.”