Electric vehicles are causing quite a buzz already in 2020. Just recently, the government announced new plans to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles from UK roads by 2035. As you might expect, that news caused a bit of a stir, and not just for automotive manufacturers. Fleet managers and business owners also took note, as freezer vans and refrigerated vehicles will also be ultimately swept up on those plans.
It’s probably not surprising, therefore, that so many people are considering upgrading their fleets to electric, and if you’re a business owner yourself, that may include you! If so, here are five key considerations it’s worth bearing in mind!
It seems sensible to start with the most universal consideration for business owners – and obviously, that’s the actual cost of upgrading. Now, at the time of writing, most electric fridge vans are still more expensive than those operating on petrol or diesel. However, but it’s important to look beyond the initial purchase price, and think more long-term.
First of all, electric vehicles are generally naturally cheaper to fuel than petrol or diesel cars, since they’re powered by a renewable resource. Depending on how many vehicles you plan to buy, and how intensively you use them, this could end up saving your business thousands. Service and maintenance is another key area where you could make big savings – repairs are generally more low key and infrequent, since there are fewer moving parts to repair. (You might have to find a specialist garage to do the job, though.) There are also the various government subsidies to consider, some of which can offer thousands off the purchase price of a new electric van.
Right now, the choice of electric vehicles is relatively limited, compared to the far larger pool of petrol and diesel vans. However, growing pressure on the automotive industry to curb its emissions means that there are plenty of global manufacturers going into overdrive (if you’ll pardon the pun), each determined to edge ahead with their electric offerings to businesses and the wider public. This natural market competition is good for customers, as it means that manufacturers have a vested interest in expanding their ranges of electric vans as soon as they can – so you won’t have long to wait until you’ll have more choice than ever.
Right now, range is already a fairly big concern for business owners and fleet operators, as indeed it should be. After all, even a few deliveries can prove a headache if the delivery vehicle only has enough charge to deliver within a very narrow radius. However, just with availability, it’s an area which the government is actively working on, and the number of charging points is growing throughout the UK. With a bit of careful management, lots of businesses are already getting on perfectly well within urban areas and city centres (although the wait may be a bit longer for national businesses, or those based in more rural areas). A number of public charging points and schemes are already active throughout the UK, and home government grants are also available for up to £500 – so, with a bit of investment, you can even have one installed at your business HQ.
We’ve already explored the concept of Clean Air Zones fairly exhaustively in one of our recent posts, so we won’t go into it in too much detail here. In a nutshell, not only is London set to expand its Ultra Low Emissions Zone to cover an even greater area, but also a number of other towns and cities in the UK are considering similar initiatives too. That means if you find yourself in a position to upgrade your fleet to electric – before these regulations come in – you could end up saving yourself significant amounts of revenue.
Right now, a vehicle that doesn’t meet the standards set out by the Clean Air Zones can cost the owners £12.50 per vehicle, per day. This can quickly rack up to become hugely expensive. Thankfully, just like other electric vehicles, electric fridge vans easily meet these standards, making them exempt from these charges – so if any of your fleet regularly travels through places like London, Oxford or Manchester, electric vehicles are certainly worth more than a passing glance.
As an extra bonus, electric vans can count towards your Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR – an aspect which is becoming increasingly important to customers and investors given the current worries about climate change. If you’re evenly matched with most of your competitors, a demonstrable CSR can give you the edge you need to win more business!
Just like all vehicles though, electric vans currently have their own specific benefits and drawbacks, so it’s still a decision that you’ll need to consider carefully. Here at CoolKit, we still offer an extensive range of petrol and diesel fridge and freezer vans from a wide range of global manufacturers, including Mercedes, Peugeot and Ford. We also offer a number of specialist services, including conversions and bodywork. If you have any questions or need any advice, don’t hesitate to give our team a call on 0808 252 8983. We’re here to help!