Page 29 - Commercial Vehicle Engineer - October 2021
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 POINTS OF VIEW
    not tomorrow. LeasePlan’s latest Mobility Insights Report found that 47% of people are now more likely to use online shopping and opt for home delivery for discretionary spending. This means there is a need for more LCVs on the road, more stops, and more journeys to and from the depot. Naturally, all of this will impact on local
air quality.
Influencing uptake
But meeting recent booming demand for online shopping and delivery services doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing air quality in our towns and cities. That’s according to our
latest LCV report, which found that e-LCVs have come a long way to meet that demand. There are three main trends that have
influenced this uptake: low emission zones, local and sustainable city hubs alongside the increase in last mile delivery, and digital applications helping to create
a more optimised delivery process through telematics.
Yet, there is still a long way to go in making e-LCVs the default option. We need that catalyst that pushes e-LCVs over the tipping point.
Part of the answer lies in awareness raising, the other in the government providing the necessary support to make them more attractive to businesses.
Range anxiety continues to be a sticking point for many fleet decision makers. But consider this: nowadays, many e-LCVs
can travel between 100 and 200 miles on
a single charge, while 50% of all LCVs
travel less than 62 miles a day. And there’s a fast-growing network of more than 20,000 charge points around the country. So, no-one should really feel anxious about range.
Then there’s the perceived barrier of cost. While e-LCVs are still expensive compared to their internal combustion engined equivalents from a capital cost perspective, many fleet operators find that the total cost of ownership is less. For this reason, many large fleets are already getting ahead and making the transition.
Perhaps the biggest challenge when switching to an electric fleet is the
significant culture and operational change that’s required. Driver training and awareness is critical, so fleet decision makers will need to keep this front of mind to ensure a successful transition.
Right time to move
With further advances in the market expected over the next 12-24 months, we’re likely to see significant uptake during this time. Now is the right time for fleet operators to review their options: for many of them, e-LCVs are a viable option now, and so it makes sense to start their journey sooner rather than later. Don’t forget, the impending 2030 ban on
new petrol and diesel vehicles includes vans too.
To accelerate the growing momentum behind e-LCVs, though, the government will need to continue to incentivise businesses to transition to zero emission vans. This support is what will really make the difference.
We’re all looking forward to a future where cleaner, greener vans become the norm. In the e-LCV market, change is coming soon, and new models have the potential to fundamentally reshape fleet operations, enabling organisations to achieve net-zero operations.
Matt Dillon is head of commercial vehicles at vehicle leasing company LeasePlan UK.
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