Thursday, November 6, 2008

Are hybrids right for your business?

In late October, UPS took a bold move into a greener world with the introduction of hydraulic hybrid vehicles (HHVs) to its fleet of delivery vehicles. This makes it the first package delivery company to adapt hybrid technology.

Earlier in the month, Toshiba American Medical Systems announced they would be replacing their sales and service vehicles with Toyota Camry hybrids. They hope this move will reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 25%.

The hybrids will take us closer to our goal of reducing emissions in logistics from company cars and freight by one percent each year,” said Paul Biggins, director of Regulatory Affairs and head of the TAMS’ Environmental Affairs Committee.

In 2007, Bausch & Lomb announced that their 400-vehicle fleet would be replaced by hybrids. McDonald's in the UK is running their vehicles on recycled cooking oil. And plans are underway to replace high-gas use NYC taxis with environmentally friendly hybrids, a move that is already in place in Washington D.C.

So how do you know if hybrids are a good choice for your business?

Here are some questions you need to ask:

  • How much of your company's business is conducted on the road? If company car mileage is low, the payback time on a hybrid might not make business sense. If mileage is high, especially in cities and on other secondary roads, a hybrid might reduce fuel costs significantly.

  • Can you afford to replace a large enough percentage of your fleet to make a difference? If you're running 300 vehicles, replacing a half dosen with hybrids probably won't save enough fuel to make it worth while.

  • Might switch have PR value or social value beyond the cost savings? Having your company viewed as green and earth-friendly might yield a significant boost to public image. And that could be worth more than the cost of a new hybrid vehicle.

2 comments:

Adam said...

It has been an order for seven hydraulic hybrid vehicles (HHV), becoming the first delivery company to place an order for an emerging technology developed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The HHV combines a high-efficiency diesel engine with a hydraulic propulsion system that replaces a conventional drivetrain and transmission, using hydraulic pumps and storage tanks to capture and store energy.
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Adam

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Seeker said...

Adam:

Do you mean the UPS order? If so, thank you for the clarification! Do you work with UPS?