Sales of ultra-low emission vans have increased by 21% in the last year, as small businesses “go green”.
The number of eco-friendly vans on the road has more than quadrupled since 2012, according to Funding Options.
Many small businesses are looking to promote their environmentally friendly credentials as a way of differentiating themselves from competitors and one way of doing so is to invest in ‘green’ fleets,.
“Smaller businesses are becoming more aware of the long-term benefits of being environmentally friendly, and are investing more in ‘green’ assets as a result,” said Conrad Ford, CEO of Funding Options.
“If you are a strongly branded business involved in home delivery or home servicing you can hardly avoid customer pressure for you to green your commercial vehicles. That pressure is not just from millennials.
“While many larger corporations have the spare capital to commit to environmentally friendly initiatives, smaller businesses often have to prioritise investment in other areas,” Ford added.
Updating old fleets to eco-friendly vehicles helps to reduce costs for businesses. Low-emission vehicles are exempt from London’s congestion charge and many older vans – which green vehicles are replacing - are run on diesel, which from April 2019 will have to pay twice as much in congestion charges in the capital.
In the last year, the Government has added three ultra-low emission vans to its list of vehicles eligible for grants. There are now ten vans for which grants will pay 20% of the sale price for, up to a maximum of £8,000.
Funding Options says that more and more small businesses are approaching it for help with financing to obtain electric vehicles. Options such as hire purchase, a type of asset finance, and leasing are popular and simple ways of getting finance to upgrade fleets.