For quite some time, there has been a significant focus on the negative impact of fossil fuels on the environment. As a method of combating this issue, we have seen a shift from diesel and petrol vehicles to electric vehicles (EV’s) as an alternative. As an added pressure, over the past few years, we have seen the introduction of tax increases, London’s T-Charge and the grants for plug-in vans extended to even larger vehicles. Here, we delve into the factors to consider whether you should move to an electric van for your logistics business.
As a delivery driver, you need to ensure your local area of operation has plenty of charge points to keep your van moving while you rack up the miles over your working week. Most cities and larger towns now offer a vast amount of EV chargers, and with over 42,000 charge points across the UK in over 15,500 locations, they are now far more common than petrol stations.
While there have been significant developments to the EV charging network over recent years, there is still work to do. The £400 million Charging Investment Infrastructure Fund has been founded with a contribution of £200 million from the Government; this will undoubtedly get more charge points onto forecourts across the UK.
EV’s can be charged by plugging them into a socket or into a charging unit with charging speeds based on the kW of the charging method ranging from approximately 3kW to 43kW. Rapid charging can take as little as 30 to 60 minutes to charge your vehicle entirely, and slower chargers take up to 12-hours which are ideal for overnight charging.
If you are considering getting an Electric Van for your delivery driving business, take a look on Zapmap to view the impressive map of accessible charging points across the UK.
A substantial expense to delivery drivers is undoubtedly fuel, so, understandably, more delivery drivers are looking to switch to cheaper alternatives. However, while the initial cost of getting an electric fan can be pricey, it is essential to look at the long-term calculations versus the short term. As a rule of thumb, you can assume that on average, 100 miles worth of charge will cost between £2-£4 while 100 miles worth of fuel averages at £12-£15. Therefore, the price per mile is quite a big incentive to move to an EV for both environmental and economic factors.
And this is only the beginning; with charges coming into play for the value of used diesel vehicles, buying a new diesel vehicle now could mean giving up on any useful resale value. Depending on how often you buy a new van for your business, this could quickly add up to substantial additional expenses for your business.
With more and more incentives being introduced, there are certainly going to be more ways to come in future years to encourage this more environmentally conscious vehicle choice.
Support for green energy is at an all-time high, with over 82% of the UK public agreeing over concerns of air quality and pollution emitted by vehicles. In addition, with charges being introduced in individual cities across the UK, such as London’s T-Charge, measures are being put in place to prevent excessive vehicle emissions.
For example, in Marylebone, London, a diesel parking surcharge has been introduced, making it 50% more expensive to park your vehicle in the area.
All these tax hikes could mean that an electric van could become a more cost-effective way to work than your existing diesel van for delivery driver businesses.
Things to consider
There are some fundamental deciding factors for a business looking at moving to electric vehicles, especially for delivery drivers. But, you need to know that this shift will be the right move for your business to ensure it doesn’t impact your ability to perform your job effectively. This handy checklist will give you a deeper insight into things you should consider while making this decision.
- Is there an electric van model that meets your business needs?
- There are many incentives schemes available, making it more affordable for businesses to move to electric vans. With a government grant towards the cost of the vehicle and funds accessible for the initial outlay of charging points, this could be a more long-term, cost-effective way to travel for your deliveries, helping you maximise profit.
- There are also incentive schemes to take advantage of when scrapping current vans, making it easy to trade-in your vehicle to offset against your future purchase.
- There are insurance policies that cover electric vans for businesses, making it an accessible option instead of regular fuel vehicle insurances.
- With the rising number of electric vans, finding a local garage to repair an EV is becoming easier than in recent years.
- With the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), delivery driving in an EV can help to avoid facing a £12.50 daily fee if you are based in the centre of London.
A move to an electric van needs to be the right decision for your business. Depending on the services you provide, it could be the next step toward becoming a more environmentally conscious business with the added benefit of reducing your expenses long term.