Prevention of global warming has made the headlines a lot lately, particularly as courier companies look to decrease their fleet’s carbon footprint. One way is to invest in plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). These ultra-low-emission vans are ideal for use in both local and national courier jobs.
Why Use Plug-in Hybrids for Deliveries
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles use both a petrol engine and a battery-powered electric motor. So, if your drivers are carrying out local courier jobs, they can operate the vehicle exclusively in electric mode. In this case, it works just like a battery electric van. Don’t worry if they have to travel beyond the battery’s mileage limit, though. When the electricity runs out, the petrol engine cuts in and it functions just like a typical hybrid.
Benefit for Courier Companies and Forwarders
Reduced Costs: Thanks to its electric-only function, a plug-in hybrid requires much less petrol to carry out courier jobs thanan ordinary van. The will reduce your yearly expenditure on fuel.
Load Space is Unaffected: In case you were worried that the battery would take up lots of space in the van, let me reassure you. The load capacity of a hybrid vehicle is exactly the same as an equivalent petrol or diesel van.
Quick Recharge: If drivers use a rapid charge point, the battery will be 80% full in just half an hour. Alternatively, they can return to base and leave it to recharge for five hours using a standard charger.
Free Public Recharge Points: There are more and more public charging points being installed across the country. These are free and allow your drivers to top-up when they’re running low on electricity while they’re out fulfilling their courier jobs.
If you’re still on the fence about whether to invest, this information might be of interest to you. The UK’s Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles offers grants of upto £8000 to reduce the straight-up cost of plug-in hybrid vans and help install charging points. Other benefits for fleets include:
· Reduced van tax and road tax rate
· Extended tapered support
· Exemption from Van Benefit Charges
· A grant to help install electric vehicle infrastructure (up to £700)
· 100% capital allowance
· Free parking in some areas
How Have Others Benefitted From Plug-in Hybrids?
Several larger companies have already started including plug-in hybrid vehicles in their fleet. Among them is the Environment Agency: committing to reduce their CO2 emissions, they have invested in 68 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
Dale Eynon, Head of Fleet Services, has expressed his satisfaction with the investment. As they cost the same as a diesel vehicle, there is no additional purchase cost and he says the agency has used the electric-only function abundantly to save on fuel. This has allowed them to break even, saving themselves money while helping the environment at the same time.
In my humble opinion, plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles are the future for fleets. They’re no more expensive to buy, they’re cheaper to run and they carry less environmental tax. Sounds like a winner to me!
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,300 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.