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18 May 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of businesses across the globe have introduced, or are looking at using, alternatives to oil to fuel vehicles, according to the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR).
A total of 69 per cent of research respondents cited the price of Brent Crude oil remaining above $100 per barrel as the primary reason to move away from using it.
The research was based on the results of 6,000 interviews conducted with business leaders between November 2011 and February 2012.
Alternative fuels represent an opportunity to keep costs down, with 62 per cent motivated by this factor, while the environmental impact of using alternative-fuel vehicles is an important consideration for 55 per cent of businesses.
There was a marked difference between the maturity of markets: 28 per cent of businesses in the G7 nations (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US, UK and Canada) are considering adopting alternative-fuel vehicles, while only 15 per cent of businesses in the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) felt the same.
Daniel Taylor, partner and head of automotive at Grant Thornton UK, said: “With the US and the EU pressing ahead with sanctions against Iran - the world’s fourth largest oil producer - it seems unlikely that prices at the pumps will ease significantly in the near future.
“Many dynamic businesses are looking to determine whether switching their fleets to alternative fuels could offer cost savings. And of course, switching to ‘greener’ fuels also boosts their environmental credentials.”