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Transport and distribution companies could save an average £486,000 by switching 10% of their fleet to electric

UK transport and distribution companies could cut the running costs of their fleets* by an average of £486,000 and reduce CO2 emissions by an average of 1650 tonnes each year – more than any other industry in terms of absolute savings – by replacing just 10% of their current vehicles with electric models. The potential savings were identified in a British Gas study, conducted by TRL, the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory.

For transport and distribution businesses prepared to go further, the analyses reveals that a 50% conversion to electric vehicles would result in average annual saving of £2.43 million.

“This report shows that businesses, under pressure to reduce both costs and carbon emissions, cannot afford to ignore the benefits of electric vehicles,” commented Colin Marriott, General Fleet Manager at British Gas. “Electric vehicles offer us so many benefits as a business that we’re introducing them into our own fleet and aim to have 1,400 by 2015 as part of our drive to reduce fleet carbon emissions by 25%.”The report determined that financial and carbon savings will vary depending on the specific characteristics of a fleet, such as annual mileage, vehicle duty cycle, types of vehicles used and the price of fuel and electricity. It found that electric vehicles save money in a number of ways:

  • Running costs – electricity is cheaper on a per-mile basis than petrol
  • Servicing costs – pure electric vehicles (not plug-in hybrids) have fewer moving parts, meaning that they need less frequent servicing

As well as these factors, the report highlights that fleets can currently take advantage of reduced taxes, as electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids pay less company car tax than petrol cars, as well as paying lower Vehicle Excise Duty and no London congestion charge. Additionally, if finds that there are also a number of government schemes that lower costs for electric vehicles at present, inducing Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC).

The report also found that the most suitable conditions for pure EVs include low urban mileage, minimal or reducing load profile, and a frequent return to base or other charging facilities for a relatively long stop.

British Gas plans for 10% of its 14,000 light commercial vehicle (LCV) fleet to convert to electric over the next three years, with the current trial of Nissan’s eNV200 electric van paving the way for this ambition.


*Large company fleets of sizes varying between 420 and 33000 vehicles

*TRL analysed data from 201 fleets, totalling around 263,000 cars and 221,000 vans.

Article source:£486,000-by-switching/