I am of the opinion that to get people to “Go Green” you have to convince them it is for their benefit. Yes, saving the Earth is important, I am down with that. The fact of the matter though is that most people won’t go out of their way to save the planet unless there is a tangible benefit for them. Clean air don’t pay the bills.
Which is why hybrids and electric vehicles make so much sense for business, especially local ones. Many businesses rely on heavy vehicles that get poor gas mileage to get their business to their customers. Frost & Sullivan, a market research group, is predicting that over the next six years, the commercial hybrid market is set for big growth. Sounds like people are starting to catch on to how much money can be saved by increasing fuel economy.
The study looks squarely at hybrid vehicles, which as the study notes, require the least amount of energy to get on the road ASAP. They don’t need plug-in stations, and many hybrids have substantially better fuel economy than their gas-engine equivalents. This has always been the case, but there have not been many choices in the hybrid market for somebody who needs a tough daily hauler. I’ve yet to see a Prius tow a lawn mower.
As hybrid technology progresses though, you can expect more hybrids with commercial applications to hit the market. The study expects commercial hybrid vehicles to grow from 4,100 in 2009 to over 220,000 by 2016. That is a huge jump, and it takes into account that many companies and cities are going to replace aging petrol fleets with more fuel-frugal hybrids. Vehicles like the Dueco plug-in hybrid truck will become more frequent sights as business owners start to realize how much money they can save in the long haul. And as hybrids become more prevalent, the price should go down as well. While I think hybrids remain a half-baked solution, I won’t complain if I start seeing more hybrid buses and trucks on the road either.
Chris DeMorro is a car enthusiast, blogger, and all-around crazy man who is as passionate about hybrids as he is about Hemis. You can follow his constant misadventures at Three Months In A Mustang.