Hybrids to Overtake Petrol Within the Decade

By Lex Autolease, PRNE
Thursday, December 9, 2010

BIRMINGHAM, England, December 10, 2010 - Petrol-powered company cars could almost be obsolete in 10
years, according to a new study by Lex Autolease with 300 finance chiefs and
company car drivers.

Two exclusive surveys, conducted for the UK's largest leasing
company, reveal that early adopters of hybrid and electric vehicles could
sound the death knell for petrol.

Less than 5% of both groups polled believe that petrol cars,
once the staple choice of business drivers, will outsell other fuel types in
a decade's time. In contrast, 8 out of 10 business drivers (78%) and two
thirds of FDs (65%) are confident that hybrid or electric vehicles (EVs) will
become the most popular company car choice.

Chris Chandler, principle consultant at Lex Autolease, says:
"Diesel has already overtaken petrol as the fuel of choice in the fleet
sector, which is renowned for being an early adopter of new vehicle
technologies. But, clearly, there is an expectation that the move away from
petrol will accelerate as hybrids and EVs now begin to attract greater market

"10 years is less than three company cars away for most
business drivers, so these options are being looked at by finance chiefs and
drivers with a greater degree of seriousness than many believed, even within
the industry. Employees are readied for change and the business benefits are
becoming more and more apparent to financial stakeholders too."

Further findings from Lex Autolease's driver survey show that
87% would consider a diesel for their next company car, while just 28% would
put a petrol option on their shortlist. However, exactly half of the drivers
polled would also include a hybrid, in either petrol or diesel form, which
suggests that the latest batch of hybrids have overcome many of the perceived
barriers to entry.

Indeed, almost half (47%) of all drivers polled would like to
road test either a hybrid or a fully electric vehicle, while almost two
thirds (64%) of finance bosses believe that employees should be given the
option to add these vehicles to their company car choice list.

"For the time being diesel is king, but we are witnessing a
shift in the market dynamics with new developments coming to the fore with
potentially significant benefits for both drivers and companies. FDs are
often cautious by nature, so the optimism coming from the shop floor to the
boardroom is encouraging to say the least", adds Chris Chandler.

Lex Autolease says that the early interest in EVs has already
translated to the next stage:

"We have a fleet of over 300,000 vehicles and many of our
customers are looking to trial alternative fuelled vehicles, which is a
sensible approach, and our consultancy team has never been busier with
enquiries of this nature.

"In tandem, we are forging ever closer alliances with
manufacturers and other parties in the supply chain to ensure that our
customers are well informed and ahead of the game, irrespective of whether
they are keen adopt now or in the future", concludes Chris Chandler.

The Lex Autolease surveys were conducted with 230 company
drivers and 70 directors of finance.

About Lex Autolease

With over 100 years' combined experience in the fleet
industry, Lex Autolease is the UK's leading fleet management and funding
specialist, and currently own and manage around 1 in every 75 vehicles on UK
roads. It has a long track record of winning industry and customer awards for
its proposition and service.

Lex Autolease shares joint ownership of Fleet Synergy
International with Athlon Car Lease International, an international alliance
providing access to fleet management experts in more than 30 countries.


Paul Myerscough, IAS b2b Public Relations, paul.myerscough at iasb2b.com, +44(0)1625-578578

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