There are more reasons now than ever to consider going green for your business auto fleet. Beyond helping the environment, here are 6 more reasons we can think of to share with you.
1. Gas prices. Gas in the Bay Area is one of the most expensive areas to fill up in. Prices have soared this year to well over $4.00 per gallon. Despite political pundits, it is doubtful that a change in D.C. or not will lead to a change at the pump.
2. Consumption. If you have a typical business auto fleet of mid-sized trucks and vans, you are probably seeing an average of 15-20 miles to the gallon. If the average tank is 18 gallons that means more money to fill up and more stops at the station which means a less productive work force. Most hybrid trucks and vans will add 5-15 extra miles to the gallon vs. their all gas consuming siblings.
3. Traffic. Most of the new hybrids kick into electric when under 20 miles per hour. The Bay Area routinely gets horrible traffic that is well below 20 miles per hour. A hybrid car/truck/van will save hundreds or thousands of dollars per year from idling in the daily grind. Also, if you happen to purchase a zero or low emission vehicle, you may be able to skip traffic completely... California provides HOV (carpool lane) pass stickers for qualifying vehicles. This alone could be worth the switch. Here is a list of qualifying vehicles.
4. Image. Most businesses and consumers, especially today and especially in the Bay Area, like to work with eco friendly businesses. Beyond the saving gas money and time as mentioned above, there is value to touting your green machines.
5. Tax Credits. Depending on your vehicle model, and tax liability, there are federal tax credits of up to $7,500 and up to $1,500 in additional California credits. Add this to the standard benefits of depreciating your business vehicles and the initial cost to go green is not as expensive as you may think.
6. Safety. Hybrids and electric cars have been in production for over a decade now. Initial concerns of electrical shock and failure have been proven wrong. These models are made with all the safety features of their counterparts which should make you and your employees feel secure. The Toyota Prius for example has constantly received 5 out of 5 stars from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The fuel tank capacities are also smaller that all gas vehicles which helps reduce fire and explosion concerns in major accidents.
Yes, hybrid and electric models have a higher sticker price than standard trucks and automobiles, but with so many benefits and the long term savings, it may be time to consider "greening" your fleet and your bottom line.