A study conducted by Auto Express has found that the vast majority of council vehicles use diesel.
In a study of more than 66,000 vehicles operated by the 320 local authorities in the UK, it found that an average of 91.6% of these vehicles run on diesel.
In London, the investigation found that there are 724 diesel vehicles operated by the council.
The capital brought its Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) into operation back in April; a world-first that aims to tackle the need to reduce air pollution in London and increase overall air quality.
In its first month, almost three quarters of the zone’s vehicles were compliant with the standard, but these results from Auto Express are revealing, and authorities say that viable electric alternatives do not exist in the “vast majority” of cases.
The findings show that 62 council fleets consist entirely of diesel vehicles, highlighting just how much work needs to be done.
Council vehicles play a vital part in keeping the UK moving and providing services that are imperative; this includes park maintenance vehicles, waste management lorries and trucks, gritters, and community minibuses.
There are alternatives for the waste management market in particular, with cleaner trucks available, and in a time of climate emergency, where businesses are being hit with financial penalties when their own fleets don’t meet emission standards, it is significant that council vehicles are still very much reliant on diesel.
The Local Government Association (LGA), responsible for representing English and Wales authorities, said there is an appetite to switch to cleaner alternatives, but the “vast majority” of these specialist vehicles don’t exist.
“Councils are eager to switch to electric vehicles or low emission alternatives where possible, but the vast majority of the types of specialist vehicles councils operate do not have viable electric alternatives because they don’t exist.”