A plan to incentivise the use of low-emissions cars as fleet vehicles Australia has won $50 million in backing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
The $50 million funding package, announced on Tuesday, will go to ASX-listed Eclipx Group, one of Australia’s largest independent fleet leasing companies, to provide its corporate, government and not-for-profit fleet buyers with access to reduced loan interest rates for eligible vehicles.
According to the release, the Sydney-based Eclipx has more than $1.7 billion of fleet assets under management or financed across Australia and New Zealand – more than 10 per cent of the Australian-funded commercial vehicle leasing market.
All up, Australia’s fleet leasing and management industry has a total portfolio in excess of 450,000 vehicles, according to an industry source that collects statistics from 14 of its members, including Eclipx’s fleet brands FleetPartners and FleetPlus.
CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said the “important initiative” would reduce companies’ emissions and operating costs, achieving productivity and environmental gains.
Indeed, this is not the first time the CEFC have used their funds to incentivise cleaner transport.
In June, it supported a scheme made available through the National Australia Bank, which offered loans to participating businesses at a rate 70 basis points below NAB’s standard equipment finance rate, with one of its main aims being to help accelerate the switch to greener vehicles – hybrid and pure EVs, and the charging infrastructure to support them.
“Transport is a leading factor in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, with light vehicles alone accounting for an estimated 10 per cent of our total emissions,” Yates said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Cutting energy costs has never been more important for Australian businesses,” said CEFC CEO Oliver Yates in a statement on Tuesday.
“This is clearly an area where we need to take action, and by focusing on fleet buyers we are hoping to see an accelerated uptake of low emissions vehicles.”
Yates added that in working with Eclipx, the CEFC had deliberately taken a targeted approach.
“Given the size of fleet purchases, this will make a positive difference in lifting the cost competitiveness of low emissions vehicles,” he said.
To be eligible for the CEFC finance, Eclipx customers must ensure the vehicles meet a CO2 emissions threshold that is 20 per cent below the most recently published Australian averages for new passenger and light commercial vehicles.
The finance will provide an incentive for vehicle fleet users to make more emissions-sensitive buying decisions.
“The CEFC finance will be available through an Eclipx sponsored, publicly-rated securitisation warehouse, providing a significant demonstration of the potential of alternative funding structures to finance low emissions technologies,” Yates added.