Becoming a cleaner, greener, and safer Fleet Operator has many challenges. Not least is the need to comply with the government’s target to achieve significant zero emission capability with new hybrid cars and vans by 20301 and net zero emissions by 20502.
Net zero means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible and the UK has pledged to achieve zero-emission for HGVs by 20403.
Fleet Operators transitioning to Zero Emission Vehicles are vital to ensuring the Government achieves its decarbonisation ambitions.
The Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP) has several policies in place to tackle transport emissions. In 2021 a new design for electric vehicle charge points was unveiled. The UK HGV electrification feasibility study4, funded via £20m set aside for trials by the TDP, was completed in spring 2022.
In their report for the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (CSRF)5, an electric road system using the Siemens Mobility ‘eHighway’ technology will allow the operation of long-haul electrified trucks utilising dynamic charging provided by overhead wires on electric roads. (image)
It looks at the creation of a network of overhead catenary cables along 7,500 km of the UK’s major road network to electrify approximately 65% of HGV kms, costing an estimated £19.3b. Potentially, this could be achieved by the late 2030s.
When combined with battery electrification of urban delivery vehicles, this ‘electric road’ network would almost completely decarbonise UK road freight.
The process has started
There are already more than 26,000 electric delivery vans6 in the UK.
Tesco recently launched their zero-emission electric lorry for city centre deliveries. The Renault Volta Zero 16 tonne truck (pictured) has a range of up to 130 miles and can carry the same payload as the diesel truck it replaces.
Amazon is also an early adopter. Its delivery fleet now has five electric HGVs, with 4 more in the pipeline. The 37-tonne fully-electric vehicles should save 170 tonnes of CO2e emissions.
Start your fleet on the road to achieving Net Zero
To reduce your fleet CO2 emissions and drive down costs, you should:
- Have a plan and a target from which informed decisions can be made
- Identify your priorities & objectives
- Understand your current baseline and scale of the challenge
- Define your targets and how you will measure success- such as via Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR), carbon foot printing & fuel records.
Could electrification help?
Over a battery electric vehicles (BEV) operational life, the reduction in energy costs7 may be as high as 75%.
There are also various tax incentives available, including Vehicle Excise Duty and Corporation Tax Liability.
Additional benefits for fleets
Electrification of vehicles can also improve air quality via reduced exhaust emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter, whilst providing a smoother, quieter driving experience.
Considerations for going electric
- Availability of vehicles – There are long lead times partly due to the global semiconductor shortage still the impacting supply of new electric and internal combustion engines. This is likely to ease by the end of 2022.
- Installation of an adequate public charging infrastructure will require grid reinforcements and legal agreements. This could take a significant amount of time.
- Power capacity constraints – fleets will need to manage energy carefully, adopting off-peak charging or booking charging infrastructure in advance.
- Operational impacts must be considered such as the required vehicle range per day and charging enroute
- Lack of Electric Vehicle trained HGV Technicians for maintenance, could undermine EV adoption.
Playing your part
The government is urging all parties involved in the supply of alternative green HGVs to press the fast forward button on their development plans. It is possible to work smarter, greener and take action on even the small things which will have a positive cumulative effect.
Get suitably covered
As we move towards a greener, more sustainable transport system, in an ever changing, competitive environment it is vital that your business receives the right insurance advice, coverage and access to market leading premiums. Talk to RHA Insurance Services for Advice or Quotations on HGV, Motor Fleet, Freight (Goods in Transit), Public/Employers Liability, Property, Directors & Officers and Cyber Insurance to name a few.
Call 0203 960 2944 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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