Thereâ€™s been a lot of talk about electric vehicles lately and their benefits to the environment. If you work in the delivery industry, though, Iâ€™m sure you want to know whether these ultra-low emission vans are suitable for your purpose. I certainly think so, but you donâ€™thave to take my word for it. Hereâ€™s a rundown of all the perks of trading in your diesel or petrol engine for a lithium battery-powered vehicle.
How Are Electric Vehicles Suitable for the Delivery Industry?
Ideal for Low Mileage Journeys
A battery-powered van has roughly a 100-mile range between charges, making it perfect for short, regular journeys. Theyâ€™re the ideal way of distributing courier loads locally, before returning to base to top up the battery and pick up a new load.
Load Space Isnâ€™t Affected
You may be concerned that a battery-powered vehicle canâ€™t carry as much cargo and youâ€™ll have to cut back on your courier loads. But donâ€™t worry: the load space is exactly the same size as in a normal panel van.
With close to 10,000 public charging points across the UK, charging a van couldnâ€™t be easier. You can even become part of a regional charging scheme to benefit from free or discounted charging facilities.
Save Money on Fuel
Electricity is a lot cheaper than diesel or petrol. Even if you go for a hybrid model, you could decrease your companyâ€™s fuel costs by up to 75%.
Why Add Electric Vehicles to Your Fleet?
In case you need a little more incentive, you might be interested to know that the UK Governmentâ€™s Office for Low Emission Vehicles is offering grants to decrease the cost of battery-powered vans and help install charging points. These grants can be up to Â£8,000, or 20% of the list price.
Your courier company would also benefit from:
â€¢having no road tax or fuel duty,
â€¢being temporarily exempt from Van Benefit Charges,
â€¢having your tapered support extended,
â€¢receiving free electricity to charge your van from some local authorities, and
â€¢enjoying free or discounted parking in some local authorities.
Case Study: How Other Companies Have Benefitted
Many courier companies in the UK have already started using electric vehicles, including Gnewt Cargo and Fruit 4 London.
The latter company, which is based in London, made the switch from diesel-run vehicles to battery-powered ones in 2012. Each one of their five electric vans travels between 40 and 70 miles per trip and completes roughly 60 delivery stops. As opposed to driving a diesel engine, the company doesnâ€™t get charged for using electric vehicles in the congestion zone, which has savedthem close to Â£15,000 annually. They also spend 75% less recharging electric vehicles than they do on diesel for their non-battery-powered vans.
All in all, electric vehicles are cheaper to run and carry the same size courier loads as petrol or diesel vans. Theyâ€™re also backed by government grants and perks.
So, the question isnâ€™t why should you choose a battery electric delivery van, itâ€™s why havenâ€™t you chosen one yet?
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier loads in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,300 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.
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