Okay so, it obviously costs more to own a hybrid work truck or van, but sometimes it can pay dividends in more than just the fuel economy saved. Generally, when business people make a decision to invest in business equipment they consider many factors such as; tax depreciation, reliability, cost, insurance, maintenance, operational expenses, performance, capacity, and most of all will it do the job they need it for. Now then, I'd like to discuss a mobile auto service type business and the decision to buy a hybrid vehicle over a regular vehicle.
Besides all the criteria in the decision matrix above, one should also consider the advertising and marketing value of being a "green company" when it comes to customer and client perception because if you have a hybrid it speaks volumes about your business and beliefs, thus, it could very well add business to your book. Most US citizens and therefore, most of your customers do care about the environment or have bought into the whole environmental movement.
If they see your company as one with their beliefs, then you win, and you have a better chance over the competition if your delivery or service vehicles are hybrid. Still, it's getting rather hard these days to find a superb choice for a hybrid van, even though there are several available if you do some checking around. Still, there are fewer choices than there once were, even at a time when fuel prices are once again near an all time high.
According to CNN Money Online News (March 1, 2012) there was an article titled; "Hybrid maker Bright Automotive goes bust," by James O'Toole, which stated;
"Hybrid vehicle maker Bright Automotive has announced plans to close, blasting the Department of Energy for failing to finalize a loan that the firm says would have kept it afloat."
Apparently, the CEO of the company stated that "they were withdrawing their application for a $314 million loan and winding down their operations, as they had been strung along for the past few years as the government insisted on increasingly stringent loan requirements. "The actions -- or better said 'lack of action' -- by your team means hundreds of great manufacturing and technical jobs... and thousands of indirect jobs in Indiana and Michigan will not see the light of day," the letter said."
This is quite problematic, because these are awesome little vans, and if you go to their website, you will see just how state-of-the-art these vans really are. As a former franchisor of automotive service businesses, if I were still running the company today, I would have seriously looked into these vans for our company. You see, they would save in fuel, they look cool, and they are hybrids and green-friendly meaning it would attract more business. It's therefore unfortunate that they will not be available in the future, or that the company is cutting production presently.
Indeed, I hope you will be able to find an alternative choice for a company work truck or van in your automotive service business, and that you will consider some of what I've noted here today. Please think on it.