New figures from the Government’s Go Ultra Low campaign suggests that commercial vehicle operators could make significant savings by switching to electric or low emission vehicles.
The campaign, a collaboration between the automotive industry and the Government, estimates that around 1.8 million small and medium-sized vans being used by commercial vehicle operators and fleet managers for short haul trips could be replaced by cheaper electric or hybrid models. This amounts to nearly half the UK’s current commercial van fleet.
With all-electric or plug-in hybrid vans saving up to £1,500 in annual fuel costs compared to diesel powered vans (based on an annual mileage of 20,000), the switch could save UK business more than £2.6 billion a year.
Vehicles that have carbon dioxide emissions of 75g/km or less are also exempt from road tax, and 100 per cent of the value of qualifying vehicles can be claimed as a capital allowance.
Furthermore, the Government currently offers grants of up to £8,000 towards the purchase of electric vans, meaning that savings can be realised almost immediately in some circumstances.
Hetal Shah, head of Go Ultra Low, said: “Ultra-low emission vehicles make so much sense for operators large and small, particularly when you consider the massive fuel savings on offer and the opportunity to write off the cost of the vehicle.
“Add to the mix lower maintenance fees and tax rates, plus the potential for reduced whole-life running costs, and they really do make a compelling option.”
With residual values for ultra-low emission vehicles continuing to improve, the Go Ultra Low campaign is seeing an increasing number of UK companies switch vehicles in order to reduce their costs and carbon footprint.
Separate research has recently estimated that the continuing roll-out of low emission vehicles could reduce the national cost of running and replacing cars by up to £7 billion per year by 2030.
Last year, the Government announced that it will be investing £500 million between 2015 and 2020 to help increase the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles across the UK.