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Zero Emissions

In recent years, there has been a strong push toward becoming carbon neutral and reducing emissions to a point called Net Zero.

One of the main ways companies are using to achieve this is to switch their fleet vehicles into newer, low emissions models.

The ideal solution, then, is to electrify their fleets. Fully electric vehicles have zero carbon emissions at point of use, and so contribute to cleaner air and reduced pollution.

Electric vehicle technology is improving each year, and with each improvement, switching to EVs becomes more favourable to consumers. There are still challenges and concerns to overcome, some of which can be solved by better informing the public, but overall the case for electric vehicles is a strong one.

Types of EV

There are currently three common types of electric vehicle, which utilise electric motors and batteries to various degrees.

Of these, only BEVs are fully zero-emissions vehicles. Hybrids require the use of their internal combustion engines, so while their emissions are lower than standard ICE vehicles, those emissions are still present.

Battery Electric Vehicles – BEVs

Battery electric vehicles are vehicles that are solely powered by electricity. They can also be called all-electric vehicles. BEVs work through a rechargeable battery powering an electric motor. The battery is charged by an external charger, which can be in public car parks, at home, or at work, and can also be charged through Regenerative Braking. This uses the energy that is usually lost when a vehicle brakes or decelerates to recharge the battery.

There are many levels of EV charger, with the most modern able to charge 80% of a full charge in less than an hour.

Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles – PHEV

Plugin hybrid electric vehicles run on both electric and petrol/diesel. The electric battery has enough charge for a range of up to 80km, though it depends on the model, and the petrol/diesel engine is turned on for longer journeys.

Plugin hybrids can be recharged at EV charge points, just as BEVs can, though they can also be recharged by the internal combustion engine inside the vehicle.

Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles – MHEV

Mild hybrid electric vehicles, often simply called HEVs, have both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. The electric motor is used at low speeds where it can provide greater torque, and then the ICE kicks in as the speed increases.

There is no option to use a plug-in charger on a MHEV. Instead, the battery is charged by Regenerative Braking and through using the internal combustion engine.

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ZEV Mandate

In January, the government introduced the zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) mandate, calling it “the most ambitious regulatory framework for the switch to electric vehicles of any country in the world”.

The mandate sets into law the percentage of new zero emissions vans manufacturers will be required to produce each year up to 2030. In 2024, van manufacturers must ensure that 10% of all van sales are zero-emissions vehicles.

This will rise steadily each year, so that by 2030, 70% of all new van sales are zero-emissions, with the aim of reaching 100% by 2035.

For fleet managers carrying out forward planning, these dates are not far away at all, and preparations should already be underway to accommodate the switch to electric vehicles.

Low Emissions Zones

As more of the country looks to reduce emissions and improve air quality, more and more low emissions zones are springing up in towns and city centres.

Low emissions zones work by charging a fee to vehicles that do not comply with the emissions standards. These are generally older vehicles with less efficient engines, but as we move forward, the standards may tighten and become stricter.

Currently, most low emissions zones permit Euro 4 (for petrol) and Euro 6 (for diesel) engines, with charges for any vehicles that do not comply.

While there are exemptions, it makes good business sense to stay ahead of these standards and remove any risk of receiving additional charges. Fully electric vehicles are emissions-free, and will remain compliant even if the standards become stricter.

Van Ninja Can Help

At Van Ninja, there is a specialist team dedicated to fleet management and fleet electrification. Our experts are fully up to date on the latest legislation, as well as the latest vehicle models. EV diversity is much greater than it was just 5 years ago, and there are now electric vehicles that cater to every logistics niche.

The Van Ninja team is available to provide advice and discussions on all aspects of fleet electrification, including model selection, whether to lease or rent, and much more.

Van Ninja’s goal is to help its customers find the right solution for their business, and will work with them to optimise their fleet’s potential.

Vehicle Options

LCVs

All major LCV manufacturers, from Ford to Peugeot to Volkswagen, have a full range of highly capable electric vans in their stables. Van Ninja have access to these vehicles at favourable terms.

Modern electric vans are fitted with the latest technology, providing an excellent driver experience while remaining robust and capable workhorses.

eCargo Bikes

eCargo Bikes are rapidly becoming the favoured option for last mile delivery, especially in city centres where high congestion can limit the mobility of traditional vans.

eCargo Bikes have the advantage of using cycle lanes, being emissions-free, being able to park anywhere, and being very easy to drive and use.

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Common Concerns – Why hasn’t everyone switched to EVs already?

Range Anxiety

One of the most common concerns raised by consumers is that of range anxiety. This is especially a concern with battery electric vans, which first came to market with real-world ranges of 60-80miles. Improvements in technology have increased efficiency so that most medium vans can now travel over 200miles before needing recharging, which is more than sufficient for most use-cases.

Charge Point Access

As range anxiety reduces with newer and better electric van models, the concerns switch to charge point access. Currently, outside of major cities, there are few public access charge points, and fewer still that can be used by vans. Businesses are more often installing their own chargers at their workplaces, but for sole traders and companies who work from home, this is more of an issue. The government has undertaken a campaign of improving charging infrastructure, but it is a long-term process.

This is a valid concern, and can be mitigated by ensuring there are local charging points that are sufficient to business requirements before purchasing or leasing an electric van.

Higher Initial Cost

Due to newer technology, electric vehicles have a higher initial outlay. Their purchase prices are higher, leading to higher leasing and rental costs.

While this can be an obstacle to switching to electric, it is not the full picture. Charging costs compare favourably to current fuel prices, and with fewer moving parts and less complexity in the electric battery and motor, maintenance costs should also be lower. Additional costs, such as ULEZ or Low Emissions Zones charges, would not apply to electric vehicles.

Consumers should run the comparisons themselves, to ensure they make decisions with full information, but over the longer term, electric vehicles and ICE vehicles are close to parity on cost, with BEVs expected to become more cost-effective as the technology becomes more common.

Battery Lifespan

Issues of battery deterioration have been raised by consumers in the past, with concerns over battery replacements, and additional costs around this.

Manufacturers have sought to put this worry to rest by placing warranties on these batteries for 8 years, or up to 100,000 miles.

As lease contracts run for a maximum of 5 years, it is highly unlikely that the warranty will expire before the lease term is complete, and so this should not be a concern.

Electrify Your Fleet

Speak to a specialist EV team member to learn more about zero emissions and moving your fleet to fully electric vehicles.

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