The progression of electric vehicles and why it is important…

Operators within London will have been trying to find the best solution to the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for a while now, lots of different plans and grants have been discussed with the aim of helping small businesses cope with the transition. However, we are only a few months away from the initial introduction of ULEZ meaning that the time to upgrade vehicles is running out.

The ULEZ has been approved to help improve the growing air pollution crisis in major cities, we need to take action now in order to stop the issue worsening further. Successful introductions of Clean Air Zones (CAZ) across some of the worst affected cities meant that it was time to look for further improvements where possible, ULEZ is the first sign of these being implemented. This in-turn has put pressure onto manufacturers to produce viable alternative ULEZ compliant vehicles so that businesses can continue operating as normal.

There has been significant progress made in the electric vehicle market over the last couple of years, more manufacturers are releasing electric alternatives of their most popular vehicles or bringing new vehicles to the market. As well as this there has also been significant investment in charging points for vehicles, enabling people to have access to hundreds of public charging points throughout the day. So, what are the best options currently available for businesses that will be operating within ULEZ on a daily basis?

A number of the most popular van types are still under development and waiting to be introduced to the larger market. Most companies that need a large payload will opt to continue using LWB vans, the best versions of these currently available on the market are the Renault Master ZE which has a range of 124 miles and the Volkswagen E-Crafter which has a range of 107 miles. There is also currently a Ford Transit Hybrid van and a Mercedes Benz E-Sprinter in production which should be available to order later this year.

There are many positives for companies to consider when upgrading to an electric fleet aside from the obvious factor of helping to improve environmental pollution levels. The ongoing costs of running a fleet of electric vehicles is significantly lower than petrol or diesel vehicles. Firstly, cost per mile for fuel is reduced which adds up to a considerable amount over the total life of a vehicle. Secondly, the brakes and engine require less maintenance as they have a lot fewer moving parts and aren’t as heavy on the brakes. Furthermore, businesses can benefit from grants when purchasing electric vehicles as the Government will offer up to 20% or £8000 of the vehicle list price, as well as grants towards the installation of workplace electric charging ports.

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