Electrification can deliver greener and cheaper fleets
At the end of 2020, the UK government announced bold plans to invest £4bn into creating 250,000 new green jobs, as part of its commitment to transition the UK economy towards net zero by 2050.
The transport sector, responsible for 28% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, is high on this agenda. From freight to home deliveries and commuting, road transport accounts for 90% of all transport-related emissions.
To signal the urgency of the matter, the plan to outlaw the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans has been brought forward to 2030, five years earlier than previously announced. Whether businesses are prepared or not, change is both imminent and inevitable.
The industry has also been keeping up with these developments as an ever expanding range of electric vehicles can be found in the market today. The pace of fleet electrification is set to increase with the availability of incentive schemes and tax exemptions. The government has set aside £500 million from 2020 to 2025 to support the rollout of a fast-charging network for electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are exempt from road tax and ULEZ charge in London and Clean Air Zones in other cities and towns. In addition, there are often grants from BEIS, Innovate UK, OLEV and others that can fund all or some of the costs to research, develop, test and demonstrate ultra-low emission vehicles.
Against this backdrop, fleet electrification can be a great opportunity for businesses to meet their sustainability targets and drive competitive advantage.
Reduce carbon emissions
Electrifying a small van can lead to a reduction of more than 50% in well-to-wheel CO2 emissions based on UK electricity grid mix. By taking a well-to-wheel approach, the measurement takes into account the entire process of energy flow, from the mining of the energy source to a vehicle being driven.
Improve air quality and noise pollution
Electric vehicles are quiet and can improve both noise pollution and air quality within the depot and its surrounding area. This can help improve working conditions and deliver health benefits to staff and customers at the depot.
Reap commercial benefits and reduce capital outlay
Electric vehicles offer real-world commercial benefits. Electric vehicles can offer total cost of ownership benefits over internal combustion engine equivalents by reducing fuel costs and avoiding environmental levies such as ULEZ charges in London. Furthermore, with the currently available government grants, electric vehicles are in a cost-saving sweet spot for early adopters. For example, for one typical fleet made up of small vans based in and around London (subjected to ULEZ charges), we found 14% whole life cost savings for small electric vans when compared with equivalent Euro 6 diesel.
Powering the transition of your fleet
The transition to an all-electric fleet will require teams from fleet management, sustainability, facilities and operations to work together to solve a new set of requirements, considerations and challenges which will be come with electric vehicles. To maintain an all-electric fleet, businesses will need to ensure that there is appropriate charging infrastructure.
How and where electric vehicles are charged will have an impact on commercial feasibility. Fleet that are parked and charged at depots could incur additional costs as a result of significant grid connection costs, electrical infrastructure upgrades and civil works.
Electrification of a bus depot could cost millions of pounds and increase the total cost of ownership, which will reduce the whole life savings when compared with internal combustion engine equivalents.
How you can leverage smart technology to future-proof your transition
Given the complexity of the scenarios outlined above, it is important, therefore, to consider smart technology solutions to optimise the costs of the electrical infrastructure required. By assessing your current and future charging and site needs and planning appropriately, significant savings can be made to the cost of electrification along with de-risking and future-proofing your first charging infrastructure.
The charging infrastructure and associated electrical infrastructure upgrade can carry a higher capital expenditure when compared with internal combustion engine equivalents. However, higher upfront capital expenditure is often offset by lower operating expenses. Vehicle and infrastructure financing have therefore become popular for electric vehicles and can be an ideal opportunity to avoid increased capital expenditure while delivering immediate savings in operating expenses.
Leaving your energy challenges in the hands of experts
While fleet electrification can sound daunting, it does not have to be. We are experts at energy systems and innovative solutions for fleet electrification. Our team of highly qualified and experienced engineers are adept at delivering assured solutions so you can focus your energy on your core business and most important business priorities.