Major UK Companies Could Save As Much As £2.6 Billion By Switching To EV Vans

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Many large companies in the UK could save as much as £2.6 billion (~$3.9 billion) via reduced fuel costs by switching to electric vans from conventional diesel- or gas-powered ones, according to recent research from the “Go Ultra Low” campaign.

As a bit of background, the Go Ultra Low campaign is a joint government + industry initiative created to educate the public + push for the mass adoption of ultra-low-emission vehicles. As it stands currently, roughly 1.8 million small + medium-sized gas- or diesel-powered vans that are currently in use by commercial operators + fleet managers (for short-haul trips especially) could be replaced with electric vans or plug-in hybrid electric vans (PHEVs), according to the researchers.



The specifics are that the switchover for diesel to electric vans (commonly used models such as the Nissan e-NV200, Renault Kangoo ZE, or Mitsubishi Outlander 4Work, for example) would result in savings of around £1,459 per vehicle annually (if driven more than 20,000 miles). Lesser uses would still result in savings of course, but on a lower scale.

Part of the savings would come directly from the laws currently on the books in the UK exempting ultra-low-emission vehicles from road taxes and from the London congestion charge; as well as the fact that the government is currently offering grants of up to £8,000 towards the purchase of electric vans; and also because 100% of such vehicles’ value can be written off as a capital allowance.

“Ultra-low-emission commercial vehicles make so much sense for operators large and small, particularly when you consider the massive fuel savings on offer and the opportunity to write off the cost of the vehicle,” noted Hetal Shah, head of the Go Ultra Low campaign. “Add to the mix lower maintenance fees and tax rates, plus the potential for reduced whole-life running costs, and they really do make a compelling option.”

The use of electric vans by commercial enterprises seems like an area that’s likely to explode over the coming years, probably growing to claim a substantial chunk of the total electric vehicle market — if I was to make a guess anyways. The savings are simply there to be taken.

Image Credit: Nissan

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

8 thoughts on “Major UK Companies Could Save As Much As £2.6 Billion By Switching To EV Vans

  • They would say this, wouldn’t they? But it can still be true.

  • Anybody who drives a lot per day, can save money, fuel savings, brake and repair, service cost.
    A former taxi driver told me even if the upfront cost are higher, with the reduces running cost from a business case it is a no brainer!.

    • Actually the former taxi driver I talked to had been driving a non plug in hybrid, Corolla I think.
      Even with that the cost saving were so great he had nothing but praises.

      Now a question: Who buys more cars trucks etc. private people or companies? Once companies realize the cost savings,it will be good by ICE.

    • Hybrid yes, the case for Taxis is difficult unless you know distance to destination, etc due to charging time. I see fast charging as an absolute requirement as well as an increased range to allow for longer rides. This is where technology can save the day – if the customer sends a text/email/app notification to the taxi company saying I need to get from 123 XYZ St to 456 ABC Lane, the taxi company knows exactly how many kms they need to go, how much power is needed, where chargers are for the return trip etc. They can then dispatch the closest taxi with sufficient charge to get the job done. Downtime could be spent recharging or idling with no loss in battery charge. Think Uber, on steroids (or batteries in this case)

  • EVs are EXTREMELY CHEAP to fuel. And you can even make them cheaper to fuel by installing your own solar PV system.

    So, yeah, any company that uses light-weight vans should switch to EVs . . . especially in Europe where they pay really high prices for gasoline.

    I self-installed a PV system on my house and picked up a cheap EV. I haven’t paid for electricity OR gasoline for more than a year and a half now. That is pretty amazing, IMHO. I suggest more people do it.

  • The first paragraph of this story is nonsensical. They could save billions over what period of time? If it’s 1,000,000 years, it’s not much of a savings per year.

    • Rather obviously, the pie-in-the-sky calculation is: 1.8 million vans x £1,459 savings per van per year, as clearly stated in the post. Niggle fail.

  • I was pushing the eNV2000 EV van HARD with a local coffee roaster who also delivers to their customers. The limited range killed it…but they are planning for their next car to be an EV – the economics just make too much sense. I’m hoping Nissan goes big (c’mon Carlos!) with their imminent announcement of Leaf v2.0:

    – Leaf with 200mi range (2x current) w/same weight battery (or less), 2x the charge and solar panels on the roof (just for fun) at the same price.
    – eNV2000 EV van with the same increases.
    – Nissan Juke EV with similar range.

    * Alternately, the increased battery pack could be offered as a package for $1-2k to allow those who know to get the smaller pack.
    * Extra win at no charge if they opt-in to the Tesla charging standard for their vehicles. I believe this is CRITICAL as lack of a widespread standard for fast charging is one of the last real hurdles to EV consumer satisfaction. I believe we are on track for widespread adoption but the average american consumer will flip out when they realize how broken and non-standard our EV charging infrastructure really is.

    I realize that most consumers’ needs are met with ~100mi range but at least here in the US, people are too pigheaded (or simply drive too many mi/day) to be flexible. They want it all, they want it now.

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