Mike Waters' blog: 24 March 2011 - The famous white van to become greener
24 March 2011
Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company.
Whether it's been through vehicle taxation, or at the point of buying a new car, you are likely to have been impacted by the drive to reduce CO2 emissions in recent years. A combination of national taxation and challenging European targets has forced the manufacturers to bring a host of greener models onto the market over a relatively short period of time.
Ranges like Renault eco2, BMW EfficientDynamics, Ford ECOnetic, and VW BlueMotion (to name a few) have become common and mean that many of us are driving around in much more efficient vehicles than a few years ago. The great thing about it is that we haven't really had to compromise on vehicle choice, price or performance to become greener.
So with the success that emissions targets have had in the car market, it seems odd that up until now, vans haven't come under the same levels of scrutiny. Although things are about to change as the European Parliament has announced short and long term CO2 emissions targets for light commercial vehicles with the first deadline in 2014.
The LCV legislation broadly mirrors new car CO2 regulation, where each manufacturer has its own overall European fleet average emissions target. This is based on the weight of each new LCV it registers in the EU in a given year.
The limits are 175g/km CO2 in the short-term and 147g/km CO2 in the longer-term. With financial penalties for non-compliance, these targets will encourage the van manufacturers to lower the emissions within their ranges. As we have seen in cars, because of the fuel cost benefits of more efficient vehicles, new products are likely to be well received by businesses and consumers.
While this change inflicts a level of cost onto the manufacturers, it provides significant savings in the running cost of a vehicle for the end user. As with cars, vans that provide better mpg performance will use less fuel and let's face it, everyone is looking to reduce their fuel bill at the moment. There are also tax savings to be made so shifting to greener vans makes sense on several levels.
It's taken quite a while for van emissions targets to come through, but it can only be a good thing and I look forward to a new wave of cleaner vehicles moving onto the market as a result, in the same manner that we have seen with cars.
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