Cars, trucks and other vehicles have traditionally used unleaded fuel or diesel for at least the last few decades, but this is changing. The push to reduce carbon footprints and to minimize negative effects on the environment is reaching into the auto industry. There are now more electric, hybrid and natural gas vehicles on the road than ever before. These are private-use vehicles as well as commercial delivery vehicles, city buses and more. At first glance, the green vehicle initiative seemingly has minimal impact on professional drivers. However, with a closer look, you can see that this is a major change that can have far-reaching effects on professionals who rely on vehicles for their livelihood.
Upgrade Your Vehicle
If you are one of many professional drivers who own your own business-use vehicle, you may need to make a vehicle upgrade soon. Green vehicles may have a more expensive sticker price in some cases, but they also typically are much more affordable to operate. As a contractor using a vehicle for professional purposes, you may need to keep overhead as low as possible so that you can charge competitive rates to your customers. Professional drivers who own their own vehicle may range for ridesharing drivers to professional big rig truck drivers. Keep in mind that you may need to update your truck driving certifications when you change the type of commercial vehicle that you drive.
Adjust to Alternative Fuel Sources
At most gas stations, the primary options at the pump continue to be unleaded and diesel fuel. Some gas stations are transitioning to offering alternative fuel sources and even electric charging stations, but these fuel stations are few and far between in most areas. With this in mind, professional drivers who have already upgraded to alternative fuel vehicles may need to plan ahead by researching locations for refueling along their route. It may not be feasible to simply plan to stop at any gas station that you come across when you drive a green vehicle.
Revise Your Budget
Driving a green vehicle for business can affect your operational budget in numerous ways. For example, you may have a higher auto loan payment because of the generally higher price of a green vehicle. Your fuel expense likely will decrease dramatically. Any change in your vehicle may also affect your auto insurance premium in different ways. Because upgrading to a green vehicle can have a significant impact on your business budget, it is wise to review finances before making an upgrade.
Also relevant to your budget is the continued availability of certain vehicles. If you set out to make the switch to green vehicles, you may find that the selection differs from what you and your employees are certified to drive. This can mean paying for something like an auto heavy rigid vehicle course on top of replacing vehicles. While this doesn’t have to prevent you from making the change, it should be considered so you are adequately prepared.
For many drivers, investing in a green vehicle now makes sense. However, you should explore options, crunch numbers and think through the impact that this may have on your daily work experience before you finalize your vehicle upgrading plans.