Vehicle Hire Guides | Green Van Guide

Green Van Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Eco Vans

Eco vans are on the rise. With more options than ever on the market, getting a green van for your business is more accessible than ever. Eco vans are even available for vehicle hire for an affordable transport solution.

But what exactly counts as a green van? Can diesel vans be eco-friendly? We’re here to give you the answers.

Large green van on a city street in the day.

Can vans be eco-friendly?

Vans do release more CO2 into the atmosphere than other vehicle types. Because vans are bigger and tend to use more fuel, they have higher emissions.  

Diesel vans are powered by fossil fuel, so they do release CO2 into the air. The average CO2 emissions for diesel vans are 161.2 g CO 2 /km, That is within EU targets (for now) to help cut emissions.  

But if you want to hop on the green trend you’ll want to find the lowest emission van possible that still gets you to where you need to be.  

What are green vans?

Green vans are another name for eco-friendly vans that have low CO2 emissions. Yes, some of them are actually green in colour!  

What are the most eco-friendly green vans?

The greenest vans out there are electric vans that are ultra-low emissions. Because they run on electricity, electric vans don’t release much (if any) emissions into the atmosphere.  

Hybrid vans aren’t as common, but hybrid vehicles have lower emissions than their diesel counterparts. They usually run-on petrol and an electric motor, so you get the best of both worlds.  

Petrol vans tend to have lower CO2 emissions than diesel, but only make up a small percentage of the market.  

Finally, diesel vans have some of the highest emissions but are improving. If you want a diesel van, but want to help the environment, there are a couple of options out there for you. But businesses are making the transition to greener vans.  

What are the most eco-friendly diesel vans?

Some petrol and diesel vans are more eco-friendly than most. If you bought a new diesel van that was made after September 2016, you would meet the low emission standard according to EU law.  

It’s true that the greenest vans out there are electric, but we’ve put together the most efficient vans of each type so you can find the one that best fits your company.  

Ford Transit PHEV

Green hybrid van  

There are very few hybrid vans on the market, but the Ford Transit is highly customisable. The van uses Ford’s techy EcoBoost engine combined with an electric battery to run at the ultra-low emission level. However, the van only has a range of 27 miles on electric-only. Most of the time, you’ll be switching from its petrol engine to electric or using the van’s combination mode to increase your range.  

Nissan NV300

Efficient diesel van  

Diesel vans are getting more efficient, but the Nissan NV300 stands out against the rest. With an emission level of 155 g/km, there are few diesel passenger vans that can match the Nissan NV300.  

Perhaps 155 g/km sounds like a lot, but the highest we found on the market was 356g/km. Some businesses don’t want to go to electric or hybrid, but if you want to cut your emissions there are still some greener options out there for your business.  

Mercedes-Benz eSprinter

Green electric van  

The eSprinter is a fully electric van with a combined range of around 82 to 95 miles on a full charge. The eSprinter is a popular van for its efficiency and option rapid charge battery, which can get you up to near full in 30 minutes. Thanks to its ultra-low emission status, the eSprinter is exempt from ULEZ and congestion charges. 


Green van with solar panels on top parked on a cobbled street

What are the benefits of green vans?

If you have eco vans, you can avoid or reduce the number of charges you face and receive tax benefits: 

  • Exempt from London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) of £12.50
  • Exempt from Clean Air Zone charges in multiple UK cities
  • Pay £0 Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for vehicles valued at less than £40,000
  • Avoid fuel duty costs with electric vans

Green vans are a growing trend

A recent survey shows that companies are more and more eager to make the switch to eco vans. Out of over 700 van fleets across Europe, 36% said they already had at least one electric van in their fleet. 32% of the van fleets said they were going to buy an electric van in 2022. This isn’t a fad trend a trend that is slowing down.  

The one factor holding most businesses back from making the switch seems to be range anxiety. Electric vans do have a lower range than diesel, on average. That can cut into your daily route and work. Read our guide to long-range electric vans to find out more. 

How to get a green van

Eco vans can set you back anywhere from £30,000 onwards depending on the model if you buy the van brand new or not, and any added extras. UK Government funding is available for some models under the Plug-In Grant Scheme which can help to reduce the cost of purchasing.  

But purchasing is not the best solution for many businesses. Leasing or hiring an eco van can be a more affordable solution.  

Can you hire eco vans?

Eco vans are available for hire. Companies can hire a green van to help the environment, and avoid Clean Air Zone charges and the high price tag of purchasing. Hiring also means you can switch out your van once your contract is over, giving you more flexibility to grow and upgrade as green vans get more efficient.  

Read more about vehicle hire on iCompario

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