New van technologies guide to help cut fuel cost, emissions and climate impact

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The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and Cenex have published a new Low Emission Van Guide to coincide with the revised licensing for drivers of alternatively fueled vans announced on April 29 by the UK’s Department for Transport.

The number of vans licensed to operate in the UK has grown by a quarter in 10 years to 4.1 million vehicles so cleaning up their emissions – which now represent about 33% of all oxides of nitrogen and over 15% of the CO₂ emissions from all road transportation – has become an increasingly important focus for policy.

The introduction of clean air zones in London (ULEZ), Birmingham and Leeds (with other cities likely to follow) is adding to the impetus for fleet managers to consider low and zero emission vehicle options. Reducing CO₂ emissions also makes business sense as lower carbon vehicles can be cheaper to run. Rising public awareness about climate change and its impacts is adding to the pressure on both public and business operators to do – and be seen to do – everything they can to tackle this urgent challenge.

The Low Emission Van Guide, intended for use by van buyers, fleet managers and procurement leaders, provides an overview of low emission vans, the alternative fuels and technologies that can be used as well as providing advice on fleet management best practice.

This guide looks at operational, financial and environmental considerations and a range of technology options including battery electric vans; plug-in hybrid and extended range electric vehicles; charging infrastructure; liquefied petroleum gas and BioLPG; compressed natural gas and biomethane; high-blend biodiesel and hydrogen fuel cell and dual fuel options.

LowCVP’s managing director, Andy Eastlake, said, “Van use is one of the most important and complex road transport sectors. It’s been growing rapidly and represents a major source of the polluting emissions which we urgently need to tackle from both air quality and climate change perspectives. Government has committed to all new vans in 2040 being effectively zero emissions, so we need to move now if we’re going to get fast enough down that Road to Zero.

“Technology is advancing rapidly in many areas and it’s vital that fleet managers are up-to-speed with the latest options. This new guide should help them get close to the forefront of developments and plan for the future.”

Cenex’s head of transport, Steve Carroll, commented, “With van ownership cycles being anywhere up to eight years, it’s essential that fleets now start to investigate, trial and understand how to successfully implement lower emission vehicle technology options so they can form part of a future-proof fleet replacement strategy.

“This clear and informative guide is an essential read for van operators. It sets out the business and environmental case for a range of lower emission and zero emission technology options available to replace the use of conventional diesel vans – as well as an introduction to installing and overcoming infrastructure challenges.”

Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, said, “Vans are an essential business tool and mobile workplace for businesses across the UK. At the same time, van users, particularly those operating in urban areas, are coming under increasing pressure to reduce their emissions.

“The next few years will bring an increasingly wide range of low and zero-emission van models, which will be available to buy outright, lease or rent by the year, month, week, day or hour. Van users will have a lot of options and this guide will help them make the right decision.”

A digital download of the report is available here.

Earlier this month, the Department for Transport also announced plans for a £2m (US$2.6m) last-mile delivery e-cargo bike grant fund in its ongoing bid to reduce emissions on the UK’s roads. Read more about this story here.

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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