Petrol share rising in French fleets, as hybrids rise in popularity in Belgium

12 July 2017

12 July 2017

Spurred on by French tax rules moving to petrol-diesel parity, new figures from France show that petrol is starting to make inroads into the dominance of diesel for company cars. Changing tax rules, highlights autoactu, will allow companies to recoup petrol VAT of 10% this year, rising to 80% in 2021. This steadily erases the tax advantage awarded to diesel in the early 2000s when lower CO2 to mitigate climate change was given a higher priority – before the higher NOx emissions from diesel engines was found to harm human health.

During the first half of 2017, the figures show that 21% more petrol vehicles were registered to companies than in the same period for the year previously. This came to 50,000 vehicles registered to companies running on petrol, out of 248,000 vehicles registered altogether and 186,000 diesels.

Meanwhile in Belgium in the first half of 2017, the share of hybrids bought by consumers overall rose considerably. Nearly 4% were bought with a hybrid powertrain in January to June out of 322,302 vehicles registered, compared to only 2.9% last year (when there were 309,606 registrations).

Toyota dominated these hybrid sales, taking four of the five spots for the bestselling models. The hybrid Toyota C-HR compact crossover topped the list with 1,616 units, followed by the Toyota Auris hybrid with 1,305. The Mercedes GLC plug-in hybrid ranked third with 981 sales, ahead of hybrid versions of the Toyota Yaris (955) and Toyota RAV4 (953).

Toyota & Lexus Belux managing director Timothy Manuel said: ′We are very happy with this trend, which proves that our hybrid technology remains the most feasible and affordable one.’

According to the carmaker, Toyota HSD (Hybrid Synergy Drive) vehicles do not require external charging and can drive up to 70% of the time on electricity alone. The power feeding the electric motor is generated by the car itself, such as on braking.

In addition, across the EU as a whole, van sales are on the increase, according to new ACEA figures. There was a 5% increase in LCV sales across the bloc from January-May 2017, with 821,534 new vans registered. All EU5 markets except the UK (-5.0%) saw an increase, led by financial crisis-recovering Spain (+18.2%), followed by France (+7.6%), Germany (+5.2%) and Italy (+5.1%).