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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