Things to consider when buying green cars

As a fleet manager, one of the most important fleet management considerations you will face every day is your vehicles' impact on the environment.

There is increasing pressure placed on companies of all sorts to limit their fuel consumption and emissions, and many businesses are now turning to fuel efficient cars as a way to make their fleet eco-friendly.

Switching to green can be more complicated than it sounds though, here are some of the things you should consider before diving into the green car market:

Hybrid or electric?

You may have heard the terms 'green car', 'hybrid car' and 'electric car' mentioned in the same breath, and many people assume them to be the same or very similar things.

There are key differences though - a hybrid car uses both standard fuel and electric motors, with the Toyota Prius being one of the most famous examples. Meanwhile, an electric car such as the Nissan LEAF relies solely on an electric motor.

Before you are tempted to go all-electric, make sure there are plenty of charging stations in your city for it to be a viable option. Otherwise, a hybrid may be the better bet.

What is your budget?

One drawback of electric cars is that they are usually dearer than conventional cars.

The running costs can be lower though, eventually making up for the upfront purchase cost, so it pays to do an analysis of how much your fleet travels and whether it is worth the investment.

How far will the car travel on an average day? In an average year?

As most green cars are more expensive than their traditional counterparts, you'll want the savings you make with your new cars to cover the cost difference as quickly as possible.

American car consultant Cartelligent recommends going electric if you know you will be covering a great deal of kilometres every year, as you'll see the financial savings sooner.

It is also important to consider how far your cars will travel every day - some electric cars have a limited range that may not last a typical day in your company's operations.