Which Vans are least polluting?

Renault TraficA lot of people who are in the market for a van may wonder which van is the least polluting? This is not an easy question to answer because vans are by and large the worst polluters on the road. A lot of effort has gone into creating fuel efficient vehicles in recent years but somehow very little of that effort has gone into vans. The result is that there are few if any environmentally friendly vans available, and companies like The Van Warehouse are trying to change that.

The sad fact is that vans are some of the worst polluters on the road and the manufacturers have made very little effort to change this situation. The primary reason that vans are bad for the environment is that there are currently no hybrids available. It is well established that hybrid technology is the best way that we currently have to improve fuel mileage. Better fuel mileage means less pollution. Unfortunately the manufacturers haven’t seen fit to put hybrid technology into the worst polluters, the vans.

This is especially odd since they have gone to great lengths to put hybrid technology into SUV’s. The reason that this is strange is that SUV’s and vans have the same chassis and usually the same drive train. It is really just the body that is different on an SUV. Yet for some reason you can get a wide variety of SUV’s with a hybrid and yet no vans are available. One would assume that the reason is that there is no demand for a hybrid van but this isn’t the case. Toyota do have a hybrid van called the Estima but it is only available in Japan. However there is a petition going around to press Toyota to make the Estima available in the US.

After the Estima the least polluting option would be the Ford S-max, which runs on a diesel engine, unfortunately this isn’t available in the United States either. This is easier to explain than the Estima’s unavailability. The simple fact is that there has always been a limited demand for diesels in the US. The S-max was built specifically to be sold in Europe where diesels are much more common and widely accepted.

The best option currently available in US is the Mercedes-Dodge Sprinter. This is especially odd because it is also the larges van available. One would assume a mini van would be the best option but that isn’t the case. The Sprinter was designed to be a delivery van in which saving fuel was important to keep the delivery company profitable. However the Sprinter has started to become very popular with other users because it is so fuel efficient.

After these there aren’t really any good options available. As far as the mini vans which make up the vast majority of the van market go, they are all about the same when it comes to fuel efficiency and pollution. Hopefully at some point that situation will change but for now there is simply no environmentally friendly van available.

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