Two van manufacturers have led the way in championing fuel efficiency in the van market. Ford and VW. Ford have been green manufacturers of cars for several years now and much of their Econetics research and development has been incorporated into their commercials. The new Transit Custom for example, is the most aerodynamic medium van to date, with stop start technology and regenerative braking standard.
The equivalent at VW is their Bluemotion development scheme, much of which has been developed for cars. It has though, like Ford, spilled over into new commercials and the first example to market is their Crafter Bluemotion.
Whole of life van costs, where a van is leased, have been produced for many years. It is therefore easy enough to split costs into categories of capital/depreciation, service/maintenance and fuel.
During the first six months of 2013, fuel costs have continued to rise. During this time, the cost of running a new van on contract hire has been more than 50% made up of fuel costs. Clearly this is not going to go down, so economy is becoming ever more important.
The new VW Crafter Blue motion emissions are down to 186g/km from 225g/km. This is reflected in a 20% improved fuel consumption of 39mpg. VW have installed stop-start technology, energy recuperation to charge the battery under braking, low rolling resistance tyres and have improved the aerodynamics. The new Bluemotion is £470 more than its sister model, but at 10,000 miles per annum, this will take less than three months to save. The Crafter is already a very competent van, load capacity and accessibility are superb and the driving ergonomics are typical VW. The running gear is a joint venture with Mercedes-Benz and industry statistics have shown the VW Crafter to be a reliable unit.