The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Fleet Uses New Funding Program for Alt-Fuel Vehicles

August 2001, by Staff

Fetzer Vineyards in Hopland, CA, has long been a company that looks out for the environment. When the company needed pickup trucks for its maintenance staff to take care of its organic gardens, Fetzer Vineyards Project Engineer Brad Campbell thought the Ford Ranger EV would be a good fit. Fetzer Vineyards acquired three of the vehicles three months ago on a three-year lease, and it turns out Campbell was right. Fetzer Vineyards has already ordered another Ford Ranger EV. Fetzer Vineyards was a participant in a new Ford Motor Credit Co. program called GreenLease. Fleets now have a choice between paying cash and leasing an alternative-fuel vehicle.

GreenLease Offers Fleets a Break on Down Payment

Initially, GreenLease was only available as a net lease (a "walk-away" lease); however, a TRAC lease (an "open-end" lease) is now available to fleets. A net lease permits fleets to return the alternative-fuel vehicle at lease end without further obligation (except for excess wear and tear and excess mileage), while under a TRAC lease, the customer assumes the responsibility for the residual value of the vehicle at lease end. Ford Credit’s GreenLease offers: - Lower payments than financing or purchasing an AFV. - No down payment required. - Optional payment programs: monthly, annual, or one advance payment. - Potential tax subsidies, tax credits, and reduced payments may be available in some states (laws vary from state to state, so contact your local dealer for details). "AFV technology is still so new that many potential AFV customers have been reluctant to purchase an AFV vehicle. That's exactly why we developed GreenLease. With the support of Ford Motor Co., we were able to design a lease to suit the needs of AFV customers," said Bob Labadie, vice president, Ford Credit Commercial Lending Services. "Now, commercial, fleet, and municipal customers can lease an alternative-fuel vehicle with little or no risk. They can add AFVs to their fleet and experience the benefits of an AFV firsthand and on a daily basis. Vehicles that are eligible for a GreenLease include: compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered vehicles, electric-powered vehicles (including the Ford Electric Ranger and the new TH!NK Mobility vehicles - the TH!NKneighbor and the TH!NKcity), ethanol-powered vehicles, and propane-powered vehicles. Campbell of Fetzer Vineyards said Fetzer installed three charging stations at various areas around the facility. In keeping with the company’s environmentally friendly ways, vehicles are charged at night, when demand for electricity is lower. Campbell is happy with the vehicles. “Everyone is surprised at how they drive like a gas-powered vehicle,” he said. “The vehicle fits well in our plant.” For more information on GreenLease and other financing products, contact a Ford Credit Commercial Lending branch at 1-877-234-FMCC (3622) or visit www.fordcredit.com/comlend.

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A specialized version of an open end lease used in the United States primarily for automobiles and light-duty trucks. TRAC is an acronym for "Terminal Rent Adjustment Clause," an arrangement featuring a final rental adjustment on the lease which occurs after the vehicle is removed from service and sold.

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