Electric LCV fleets – What are the main considerations?

As the demand for deliveries from online shopping increases, the number of Light Commercial Vehicles is expected to grow exponentially. The best predictions are that they will increase from 11.83 million in 2020 to 16 million by 2026. This growth coincides with more strict emission targets and rising fuel costs. Companies with large fleets like Amazon, DHL, FedEx, and UPS will therefore need to upgrade to Electric LCV for their commercial fleets.

Electric LCVs are more expensive than their diesel or petrol counterparts. Lower operating and maintenance costs are pushing Internal combustion engines into the territory of being more expensive over a vehicle’s total lifespan.

Which electric LCV will be an individual choice based upon your specific needs, but the decision generally comes back to the range and charging times.

What are the main considerations for electric LCV fleets?

Purchase price –

EV technology is still in its’ infancy and uses expensive components. Until economies of scale reduce the overall vehicle cost, they will continue to be an expensive option compared to their ICE counterparts. It is worth noting, though, that they are cheaper to run.

Vehicle availability – 

Initially, the slow uptake in LCVs was due to limited choice and availability. With more and more manufacturers producing EV and hybrid vans, these barriers are steadily lifting.

Performance – 

Although played down by the manufacturers, the reality is that the batteries will deteriorate over time and hold less charge and eventually need replacing. 

To mitigate battery deterioration, extended warranties ensure they can last for the working life of the van.

Range variance –

External factors influence the range of an LCV dramatically. Payload weight, driving style, distance or city driving and the weather. It is well documented that EVs do not like the cold.

Charging network – 

Will you have access to charging at the workplace day and night, and is there sufficient network coverage for the daily usage of the vehicle?

Time to charge – 

Recharging times are one of the main barriers to LCV takeup, and it will take longer to charge than to refill will fuel. 

Even with a rapid DC charger, it will take around 40 minutes to charge to 80%.

The Benefits

Meet emissions targets – 

With LCVs producing no emissions, air quality can significantly improve.

Corporate responsibility – 

A socially responsible image is positive for your business and could lead to new customers.

Running cost savings– 

LCVs are cheaper to run than ICE alternatives. The cost per mile is significantly reduced, as are maintenance costs.

Congestion charge savings – 

with Clean Air Zones (CAZ) and Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ) being extended, the ability to navigate them without charge can bring significant savings.

Other incentives–

Many areas offer free parking, free charging and full exemption from the London Congestion Charge.

Silence is golden– 

Electric vans are significantly quieter than diesel vans. The reduced noise makes it more pleasant for the driver and opens up new opportunities. Unsocial-hours services become possible, where a conventional van might otherwise bring noise complaints.

Santo Gaines

Santo Gaines