Both air quality and carbon emissions could be dramatically improved by fleet managers and van drivers, according to two new reports published by Greenpeace and the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) yesterday (June 10).
LowCVP has produced a practical document – ‘Low Emission Van Guide: Helping van operators to reduce costs and emissions’ – which focuses on choosing the right vehicle for the job as well as explaining the business and environmental case for choosing low emission vans.
The LowCVP guide finds that drivers opting for battery electric vans could reduce their whole life costs by as much as £18,340 in London and £5,215 outside of the capital (due in part to the Congestion Charge zone).
And, to accompany the report is a web tool that can help illustrate to vehicle owners the sorts of benefits and savings they could expect by incorporating low emission vans into their fleet.
There are currently 1.6m vans and 2.5m cars registered to UK companies – so vans are a significant part of the corporate fleet and this sector is growing by 3.5% each year, LowCVP said.
This sector comprises 96% diesel powered vehicles and almost half are owned by businesses.
Andy Eastlake, LowCVP md, said: “In the UK, 90% of new vans and over half of all new cars were bought by companies in 2014. Combine this with the fact that, on average, company cars travel more than twice the miles of private cars and it’s clear that the fleet sector is responsible for most of road transport’s impact on climate change.â€?
Meanwhile, to coincide with the LowCVP guide, Greenpeace has also published a report – ‘Saving fuel, saving costs: Impacts and reduction potential for corporate fleets’ – setting out how fleet managers can help create a shift towards cleaner cars, with benefits for both air quality and carbon emissions.
According to the report, this is because fleet operators make 54% of new car purchases in the UK (50% across Europe) and the majority of company cars are sold onto the general public.
In total, Greenpeace found that European corporate fleets produce approximately 380 million tonnes of GHG every year, which is more that the entire emissions of Spain.
As such, the analysis, carried out on behalf of Greenpeace by environmental consultancy CE Delft, looks at a variety of ways to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions while saving costs. These include fuel efficient driving, switching to alternative fuels, telecommunications, and changing transport modes.
The Greenpeace report also highlighted an example from retailer Tesco and how its efforts to reduce emissions have delivered significant savings and air quality improvements.
The retailer giant has started moving more of its goods by rail and double decker vehicles, which it said has resulted in a reduction in transport emissions per case delivered to stores by 16% compared to 2011 levels.
The report found that in general, shifting transport from road to inland waterways, for example, can save up to 80% of costs per tonne-kilometre.
Greenpeace senior climate campaigner Barbara Stoll said: “Fleet managers have a surprising amount of power over all of our futures, and with the rapid progress being made in clean tech, they can use that power for good, and on a grand scale.
“Hopefully the enormous potential cost savings will help – instead of asking for sacrifices, we’re just asking them to sacrifice a bit less to oil companies.â€?