Hybrid Vehicles: The Steppingstone to Fully Electric Vehicles
With corporations of all sizes making commitments to improve sustainability efforts, often with aggressive timelines, fleets are increasingly being put under a microscope. One-way executives are challenging fleets to lower their carbon footprint is by adopting cleaner technology. However, it isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. Operational and economic challenges also need to be taken into consideration. Electric vehicles are often viewed as the future of the automobile industry; however, they aren’t always the solution. In this article, we’ll discuss why hybrid vehicles may be a perfect stepping stone for fleets looking to go green.
Electric Vehicles – Plenty of Upside, but Not for Everyone…Yet
Never having to consider gas prices again is quite appealing for many fleet managers. But the reality is that electric cars don’t fit into every fleet application as the industry stands today. Certain cases simply require a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. Perhaps the typical usage pattern is beyond what any electric vehicle can provide in terms of range. Maybe the driver lives in an apartment building or a multi-family home without a dedicated meter and doesn’t have the ability to install a charger in their home. Or perhaps, there just hasn’t been an electric vehicle introduced to the market that can perform the function your fleet needs. Whatever the case may be, corporations must consider the current limitations of electric vehicles.
Hybrids Offer a Great Solution
So, what’s a fleet to do if they’re looking to cut down their carbon footprint yet have applications where electric vehicles are a non-starter? In those cases, hybrid vehicles offer a tremendous opportunity. Hybrid vehicles provide a significantly increased average MPG over their traditional ICE counterparts but don’t rely solely on the electrical grid for power. Fleets can see increased cost savings compared to conventional ICE vehicles while at the same time avoiding the shortcomings of electric vehicles and public charging infrastructure. Additionally, hybrid vehicles have come a long way in terms of cost equivalence with traditional ICE vehicles.
In the past, the increased cost of a hybrid vehicle may have canceled out or even outweighed potential savings. Today, hybrid vehicles are priced much closer to their traditional ICE counterparts, allowing fleets to have the best of both worlds. They’re able to keep in line with their sustainability initiatives while simultaneously deploying a vehicle that meets business needs and delivers cost savings via a greater MPG.
But is There a Hybrid That Meets My Needs?
When people think of hybrid vehicles, the first thing that often comes to mind is the Toyota Prius. The Prius was a revolutionary vehicle in numerous ways, but it simply won’t do the job for many fleets. Fortunately, the hybrid market has grown exponentially, with many manufacturers offering the variant in several different models. There are many options in the sedan segment, ranging from the Toyota Corolla Hybrid to the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and plenty in between. But these days, there are also larger hybrid vehicles available. For those needing a mid-sized SUV, the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Kia Sorento are among the popular models that offer a hybrid option. Even those in need of a pickup truck have plenty of options. Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, and RAM all offer hybrid versions of their pickup trucks. Regardless of the use case, there is almost certainly a hybrid vehicle that will suit your needs.
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