The environment has been a hot topic for the last 15 to 20 years and something that no business can ignore for a number of reasons. First of all, there are a lot of new sanctions being placed on heavily polluting industries and this is filtering down through small to medium enterprises and their vehicle fleets.
What this means in practical terms is that the governments of Europe, and the world, are increasing duties and taxes on fossil fuels and those vehicles which they deem to be the main offenders in terms of pollution.
The second reason that the environment shouldn’t be ignored, is that since most businesses operate to make money, your consumption can have a huge impact on the profitability of your business. Over recent years the cost of motoring has increased, by 14% according to an RAC study. Granted the price at the pumps has gone down over recent months, but this is most likely a temporary reprieve. So even if you don’t believe in climate change, the reality is that operating a Green Fleet will probably save you money.
Commercial vehicles are the workhorses of the road and the backbone of our delivery network. As fewer and fewer of us actually make the journey to the shops, there are more and more commercial vans on the road to meet the demand of home delivery and modern convenience requirements. As diesel prices soared in the early noughties, manufacturers took steps to make their vehicles as environmentally friendly as possible by which we mean as fuel efficient as possible! The effect of this is that a modern commercial vehicle carrying a few tonnes of load can have a similar fuel consumption (MPG) to a small family car from the 80s.
Governments across the globe, from Hong Kong to London, have all started implementing new taxes and toll charges to make sure that the worst polluting offenders on our roads have to pay for the privilege of dirtying our air. What this means in real terms is that when it comes to buying a commercial vehicle, particularly light commercial vehicles that are going to be nipping in and out of city centres, it is worth doing a bit of research to find one which may evade some of the congestion and tax charges that have been implemented. Many cities are even considering complete bans on certain types of vehicles which do not meet their stringent clean-air requirements.
The good news is that whilst the worst offending or worst polluting vehicles are being taxed, green/environmentally friendly vehicles are often given tax breaks, or tax incentives, to encourage people to adopt new technologies. This can be seen with hybrid vehicles that often evade congestion charges in major cities and in the case of the UK, usually don’t have to pay annual road duty, which over the course of a vehicle’s life can mean a saving of thousands of pounds.
Whatever your reason for looking into a green commercial vehicle, don’t forget to take into account all the normal things you look for when you buy new car or van. Just because you are saving the environment, doesn’t mean you have to suffer discomfort, and most vehicles these days will still offer all the modern conveniences you used to, such as air-conditioning and surround sound stereos. Then you also have the comfort of knowing that you’re not polluting your city whilst enjoying your driving experience.