Electric delivery vehicle trial
Gnewt are one of our fleet clients and a leading last mile delivery service in London operating a 100% electric vehicle (EV) fleet. Gnewt’s electric delivery fleet proved so successful that in 2017 they succeeded in attracting funding from the Mayor of London to run a commercial electric vehicle trial testing new larger capacity electric vans (some of which were sourced by us!) for last mile deliveries in central London.
Around half of London’s toxic air pollution comes from road transport and at peak times delivery vans and lorries make up around a third of traffic, so using electric vans rather than diesel ones in our capital is crucial step in reducing harmful vehicle emissions affecting the health of Londoners, especially children.
Watch the Gnewt/Mayor of London Commercial EV Trial summary
More about the trial:
Thousands of Londoners die prematurely each year, that’s why Mayor Sadiq Khan is working to reduce the number of delivery vans and lorries on London’s roads and encourage the use of EVs.
Sam Clarke from Gnewt explained the project in a little more detail:
“We are trying to engineer vehicles that have a larger cubic capacity, and therefore we are able to reduce our congestion by having fewer vehicles on the road that are slightly larger than traditional. We’ve taken a 4 cubic metre van for example and we have been able to double its cubic capacity by extending the chassis and the roof. We’ve also taken larger electric vehicles and changed the battery dynamics, such that we’ve reduced the range as we don’t need to travel quite so far and therefore reduced some of the overall costs”
Trial vehicles were mainly supplied by Voltia (through DriveElectric) and BD auto who both create custom built vans from existing modes already on the market.
“Leasing larger electric vans has been a challenge”
Ellie, one of our Business Development Managers at DriveElectric (what she doesn’t know about electric vans isn’t worth knowing!) explains the challenges facing businesses that want to go electric:
“Until recently leasing larger electric vans has been a challenge in London due to the cost, now we have conversions that have been part of the trial and have shown that going electric can be more affordable particularly for businesses operating in the Congestion Charging zone”
To keep their trial fleet of EVs topped up 64 charging stations were installed by eo charging at Gnewt’s two London depots. There is also growing infrastructure of rapid charging points across London that the public can use which makes electric fleets even more possible.
Environmental and social benefits
As well as saving on running costs by switching from diesel to electric there are also environmental and social benefits to electric vans; they produce no harmful exhaust emissions and are much quieter than their Diesel equivalents.
Andy Steele, Senior Consultant at ARUP (an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, architects, consultants and technical specialists) points out the benefits of switching to electric vans for London:
“If all vans were to switch from diesel to electric in London then there are huge opportunities to make savings on the amount of emissions put into the air. General air quality will be improved, the government has to spend less money dealing with the problems those emissions generate in people’s health.”
Some key findings from the trial
- The trial electric vans, with their larger payload volumes, delivered on average 30% more parcels per week compared to smaller vehicles – helping to reduce congestion by making fewer trips
- The overall electricity cost for charging the trial vans was 75% less than the fuel costs to run their diesel equivalents (2019 costs)
- The trial Voltia and Vic-Young electric vans used 5x less energy per km than their diesel equivalents.
Trial an electric vehicle in your business
If your business is looking to make the switch to electric vans but you aren’t quite sure how it will work, our short term FlexiHire lease option could be for you.
Our unique try before you buy service enables you to trial electric vehicles for 3 months or more before making a longer-term commitment.