Latest Competitive Advantage For Small Businesses: Green Vehicles

In crowded markets, consumers can choose to give their business to a wide field of competitors. They assign their loyalty based on any number of factors, including quality, price, service and – more and more frequently – environmental awareness. Businesses have caught on to this trend and are eager to show how green they can be. Smart energy policy is now a competitive advantage, and many enterprises attempt to illustrate their dedication to the environment by doing business in more eco-friendly vehicles.

If greening your fleet is on your business agenda, be wary of pseudo-environmental benefits. Slapping a green label on a van is one thing; true energy efficiency is another. So what should you look for in a legitimately green car or truck? Start with these four guidelines:

  1. Don’t be swayed by alcohol blends. It takes more energy to produce one gallon of gasohol than it does to create an equal amount of gasoline.
  2. Hybrid power plants have a lot to offer. A hybrid power plant usually includes an internal combustion engine working with a battery bank or fuel cell. Together, these elements capture and re-use energy that would otherwise be wasted, such as the heat created by a car’s braking system.
  3. Ultracapacitors improve vehicles’ energy storage capabilities. Ultracapacitors are much more efficient at recapturing energy than a battery. For example, an ultracapacitor has a 95-98 percent round-trip efficiency, compared to the 60-80 percent of various battery types. This translates into more energy stored, faster, to use for re-launching the vehicle, which saves fuel.
  4. Consider the contribution of the automotive supply chain. The parts that go into a vehicle and the manner in which they are produced contribute to the validity of the final product’s green status. Components should be designed with energy conservation in mind and with environmentally safe products. For example, ultracapacitors are over 95 percent recyclable and RoHS compliant; no heavy metals and very environmentally friendly. Some batteries, such as Lithium Ion, are very difficult to recycle with a low percentage of recoverable materials, some of which are environmentally damaging.

Latest News

  • uSTART® Lead-Free Replacement for Truck Batteries

    ONEONTA, N.Y.Jan. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ioxus uSTART® has received two fleet industry awards for sustainability by eliminating lead-acid batteries with its ultracapacitor-based, drop-in battery replacement.

    "With uSTART, fleets not only realize the benefits of improved starting reliability, there are equally important and real sustainability improvements from lead waste reduction," said Chad Hall, executive vice president and co-founder of Ioxus. "By replacing one of the batteries on a vehicle with a uSTART module, up to 15 fewer batteries are needed over the lifetime of the vehicle. This translates into 1,000 pounds of lead that will never need to be disposed of or allowed to affect groundwater."

    EU legislation on batteries is embodied in the European Battery Directive.  Its objective is to contribute to the preservation and improvement of environmental quality by minimizing the negative impact of batteries and battery waste.  As these preservation efforts expand, sustainable technologies develop to manage and mitigate these risks.

    Replacing a lead-acid battery with uSTART in a typical commercial vehicle creates measurable environmental benefits:

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