MARK Goss of flexible van hire specialists Northgate Vehicle Hire predicts the coming 12 months is set to be an interesting period for the van market.
Why? Well he believes that new legislation and technology will play a major part in shaping driver habits and preferences.
As Northgate predict big changes, two key areas he centres on are emissions and connectivity technology.
If we take emissions first, the transition from Euro 5 to Euro 6 standards are going to be the most interesting development he believes.
This is because it will be a sea change for vehicles in terms of all the technology needed to meet these emission requirements – with all van sectors affected eventually.
Mark believes manufacturers who’ve spent out on developing this new technology will want to see a return on their investment, equalling probable higher prices. Plus, there will also be extra operational costs due to the need to supplement fuel with the reduction agent AdBlue.
We’ve covered what AdBlue does before – click here to read about the need to treat AdBlue with respect – but it is consumed in proportion to engine usage and the level needs regular monitoring and topping up. Mark believes the need to top up the AdBlue, has the potential to have a knock-on effect on payloads, as this will require increased vigilance to not compromise the vans performance. However, on the flip side, Mark cites that some emissions benefits will also be passed to Northgate customers as a result of this legislation.
Mark believes the key to emissions and the van market, will be to ensure that all communication is clear and that all van drivers are aware of the new requirements.
As far as technology is concerned, he believes that Bluetooth connectivity is fast becoming a necessity and should be standard on all van models – not just available as an option extra.
In the longer term, telematics or the “connected van” will gradually increase in importance and will continue to do so – with greater functionality being offered with LCVs in the coming years and new standards being introduced.