Vauxhall has set the pace in the increasingly important eco-van sector by including a green Ecoflex version for every model in its line-up.
The fuel-saving applications installed vary from van to van, but the manufacturer deserves credit for signalling the most economic choice for every model in its range at a time when green credentials are rising up the agenda for customers.
Starting at the small end, the Corsavan 1.3-litre CDTi 16v 95hp wears the Ecoflex badge. It seized the mantle as the greenest van in its class from the Ford Fiesta Van, which has since fought back to equal its official 95g/km of CO2.
If Transport for London ever deigns to exempt the cleanest vans from London’s congestion charge, then the Corsavan could enter the city centre for free by dint of its sub-100g/km output.
As well as using a stop/start system, Vauxhall has also lowered the Corsavan’s chassis and fitted a variable geometry turbocharger. The van is also adorned with aerodynamic wheel covers and optimised gear ratios with a shift-up indicator. Vauxhall claims the Ecoflex Corsavan achieves fuel economy of 78.3mpg.
The lowest-emission versions of the Astravan and Combo small light commercial vehicles also take the Ecoflex badge, with  CO2 emissions of 130g/km and 134g/km respectively.
Moving up the weight range, the medium-sized Vivaro is offered with two short-wheelbase Ecoflex derivatives: 90hp and 115hp versions of the 2.0-litre CDTi,
both of which deliver CO2 of 185g/km, about 5% less than the standard model.
Ecoflex status on the Vivaro comes courtesy of a speed limiter that restricts its top speed to 62mph. The rationale is that cutting the top speed burns less fuel and causes less pollution.
Until you reach the artificially imposed top speed, Vauxhall’s Ecoflex Vivaros drive exactly the same as their conventional stablemates. It is a simple but effective measure, which could prove beneficial for most operators unless they are racing against time on the motorway.
For heavy van customers Vauxhall offers the Movano Ecoflex, based on the 3.3-tonne L2H2 2.3-litre CDTi 100hp derivative. It offers CO2 of 202g/km via energy- and weight-saving features including manually operated windows, mirrors and door locks, and a tyre repair kit rather than a spare wheel.
However, it is not the only brand to flag-up its greenest vans with an eco badge.

Highly Commended

Highly commended is Ford, which has conferred its Econetic label upon a brace of its Euro5 Transits. The larger of these is the long-wheelbase medium-roof 125hp Transit 350 Econetic, with 90% of the load volume and an increased payload compared with the rear-wheel drive high roof 350. Ford claims customers could save £3000 a year on fuel alone compared to the RWD 350.
Also up for grabs is the SWB 280 Econetic, which emits 178g/km CO2, falling to 173g/km with the optional 62mph speed limiter. The official fuel consumption figure is 43.5mpg.
In the small van sector, the Econetic Ford Fiesta Van led the way in cutting CO2 to below 100g/km.