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Switch to Electric Vans could save 20m tonnes of CO2, suggests Vauxhall

Vauxhall have released some new research to suggest that completely changing the UK’s van fleet to electric vans could save almost 20 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Vauxhall used data from the UK Government and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to calculate that, per annum, 18% of the UK’s transport-related CO2 emissions and 4.5% of the country’s total annual carbon emissions are a result of vans.

The SMMT have given an average new van emissions estimate of 196.7g/km CO2, and numbers from the Department for Transport show that van drivers in the UK travel over 62 billion miles per year. From this, Vauxhall have calculated that annual emissions will exceed 19.5 million tonnes of CO2.

James Taylor, managing director of Vauxhall, said: “Our research highlights the importance in electrifying the country’s businesses to help meet the UK’s Net Zero targets, and comes at a time when the UK is considering imposing further measures to increase electric vehicle uptake.”

While the ZEV mandate, which will force manufacturers to sell a certain proportion of EVs, is welcome, it does require sufficient infrastructure to support the increase in EVs on the road.

Currently, the number of accessible public charging points would not be sufficient to support such a large switch to EVs, so any EV mandate would require additional rules for the necessary infrastructure.

The targets for 2024 are 22% for cars and 10% for vans, increasing to 80% and 70% by 2030. While these numbers are for the sale of new vehicles, and there will be plenty of older vehicles still on the road, these targets will still make a considerable dent in LCV CO2 emissions.

Currently, there are still a large number of ICE vans on the market, and it will take a lot of work from manufacturers and regulatory groups to achieve these targets.

It doesn’t help that there are still shortages and manufacturing delays which are slowing down the introduction of electric vans to the market. For the short-term, it may not be feasible for customers to switch to electric vehicles when looking at availability, infrastructure and support. This will need to change if the country is to meet the UK government targets.