There are certain areas where in the pursuit of greater efficiency and effectiveness business leads and in time the mass market will follow. This is often the case when comes to technology, with examples ranging from mobile phones and broadband to laptops and teleconferencing.

New research shows that business is also leading the way when it comes to cars, and in particular, the take-up of the cleanest and most efficient vehicles on the market. Government is throwing resource behind promoting green vehicles as a way of saving the planet and companies seem to be responding, often as a way of cutting costs.

The research from the Arval backed Corporate Vehicle Observatory (CVO) was carried out this year across 12 countries and shows that in the UK a fifth of company car fleets now include at least one green vehicle. If you cast your mind back a few years, environmentally friendly vehicles were more of a concept than a core business tool, whereas now they are becoming common place in the car parks of companies across the UK and into Europe.

As you would expect, this trend is even stronger amongst larger companies because they are the ones who can afford to make any increased investment and often end up reaping the rewards. Over half of companies with 1,000+ employees have vehicles with fuel efficient labels on the car fleet and more than 40% of large companies are now running at least one hybrid.

With an influx of these fuel efficient labels flooding onto the market, ranging from Bluemotion to Econetic, it is no surprise that their popularity is growing and will continue to grow into the future. The CVO research shows that nearly 70% of all business car fleets said that they would encourage a shift to fuel efficient labels in the next two years and 60% intended to include green vehicles within the fleet over the next three years.

Where business leads, it can be assumed that the general public will follow. Companies purchasing new and efficient vehicles will be looking to replace them in a few years so they will make their way into the used car market and onto driveways across the country. So momentum behind green vehicles is clearly growing and the touch paper that business has lit looks set to burn brighter as the general public follow suit.