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MAY 2020




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A round-up of new electric vans soon to hit the showrooms



Commercial Vehicle News

FTA’s Natalie Chapman COVID-19: How is it impacting air quality policies? Natalie Chapman, Head of Urban Policy, FTA

The lockdown of the UK to prevent the spread of Covid-19 has had a positive impact on air quality, with results showing large reductions in air pollution across cities nationwide. Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and London have seen substantial improvements with levels of nitrogen dioxide declining at around 30-40% from the pre-UK outbreak period 1 January – 10 February to the mid-outbreak period of 15 February – 25 March. And while FTA supports the long term need to improve air quality, we are urging government at a national and local level to reconsider the impact they will have on industry in the wake of this unprecedented event Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the logistics sector, like many other industries, is currently facing major challenges. Recognised by government as key workers, logistics staff are focusing their efforts on ensuring the supply chain continues to run efficiently and effectively to service the public, supermarkets and the NHS with the essential items needed during this pandemic. As a result, FTA’s Chief Executive, David Wells, recently wrote to MP George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to request a delay in the introduction of Clean Air Zones (CAZs); we were pleased to see that, following this communication, the introduction of these schemes has been delayed across the country. With the industry focused on the immediate and urgent needs of the supply chain, the government – on the advice of FTA – recognised that it would be beneficial for other business disruptions to be kept to a minimum at this time. And with many companies experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the outbreak, it would have been unreasonable to expect businesses to bear the time-critical, costly implications of upgrading their fleets to meet the emission standards required of CAZs at this juncture. FTA is now focusing its attention on recently issued government guidance which directs councils to reallocate road space for cyclists and pedestrians. While FTA supports the government’s ambition to encourage active travel and social distancing, the guidance overlooks access for those who keep our cities supplied with everything they need: logistics operators and their vehicles. The plans do not provide the scope required to ensure the industry can continue to supply its customers safely and effectively. FTA has written to Transport Minister Baroness Vere to request urgent clarification on several areas including this one, all of which are key to safe and efficient logistics movements throughout our cities – more on this topic in FTA’s column next month. While FTA recognises and supports the need to improve air quality, CAZs would have required change at a time when the industry is already facing much disruption. With air pollution already improving in our cities as a result of the nationwide shutdown, it would, in FTA’s opinion, be more beneficial to revisit these schemes at a time when industry can focus more attention and resources to enable more successful, longer-term outcomes. And, while FTA and its members also support the government’s ambition to boost cycling and walking, we must ensure any reallocation of road space considers the needs of logistics businesses to provide the greatest benefit to society, air quality and logistics alike.

FURTHER INFORMATION For more information about FTA and its work, including its research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the supply chain, please visit www.fta.co.uk.


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UK’s HGV market down 22.5 per cent in Q1 2020 SMMT figures have show that the UK’s new heavy goods vehicle (HGV) market fell -22.5% in the first quarter of 2020, with 9,193 units registered. Registrations of rigid trucks fell -12.0, driven by a doubledigit percentage decline in the >16T truck segment, while trucks weighing >616T saw a lesser -5.8% fall in registrations. Meanwhile, demand for articulated heavy trucks declined by more than a third, down -34.5% as 3,613 vehicles joined UK roads. While tractors continue to make up the majority of HGV registrations with more than 3,500 vehicles registered, nearly all segments saw double-digit declines in the first quarter of the year. Elsewhere, refuse disposal and curtain sided vehicles experienced increased demand, up 24.4% and 1.2% respectively, likely due to ramped up essential services such as rubbish collection and supermarket and warehouse deliveries amid

a nationwide pandemic. The only nation to see an increase in demand during the quarter was Wales, where registrations of heavy goods vehicles were up by over a fifth, growing 20.8% to 354 units. Across the rest of the country, fewer HGVs joined roads, with England and Northern Ireland experiencing -24.9% and -20.5% declines respectively. Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “While fluctuating fleet buying cycles can have a pronounced effect on this market, heavy goods manufacturers have had to adjust business practices during lockdown period just like any other business. As we prepare for a cross-industry restart, we need to restore operator confidence to boost fleet renewal, in order to get more of the latest high-tech, low emission vehicles onto our roads.” READ MORE tinyurl.com/y9jy52df


Electric Nissan ambulance for Tokyo Fire Department The Tokyo Fire Department has taken on a Nissan NV400 electric ambulance. The project is the result of a collaboration between Nissan, the Tokyo Fire Department and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and is part of the city’s Zero Emission Tokyo initiative. The Nissan EV Ambulance is equipped with an electric stretcher that enables ease of operations for ambulance staff. The noise and vibration levels in the vehicle are significantly lower in comparison with a traditional ICE-powered vehicle, helping reduce negative impact on patients as well as on staff handling sensitive equipment. Two lithium-ion battery packs support its EV capabilities (33 kilowatt-hours) with an additional battery (8 kWh) allowing longer use of electrical equipment and the air- conditioning system. The ambulance can also turn into a

mobile source of power in case of a power outage or natural disaster. The Nissan EV Ambulance is based on a converted Nissan NV400 currently on sale in Europe. “Nissan strongly believes in sustainable mobility and strives to contribute to a world with zero emissions and zero fatalities,” said Ashwani Gupta, representative executive officer and chief operation officer at Nissan. “This project is another great example of our efforts to enhance accessibility of eco-friendly vehicles to local communities.”

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Calor takes on zero-emission FUSO eCanter for London deliveries

LENS launched to help hauliers during pandemic

Gas supplier Calor has taken delivery of an electric FUSO eCanter to deliver its bottled butane and propane to customers in central London. The truck is based at Calor’s depot in Wandsworth, south-west London, and spends much of its time working inside the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). The company’s National Vehicle Engineering Manager Alan Harrison said: “At Calor we like to move quickly to adopt any new technology that can help our business. The FUSO eCanter is a perfect example – it reduces the impact of our operations on the environment, while also making sound financial sense.” The FUSO light truck range is sold and supported by MercedesBenz Trucks in Great Britain. It has a body and payload allowance of up to 4.5 tonnes and has an electric drivetrain with permanent-magnet motor employs six 420 V and 13.8 kWh lithium-ion batteries, and delivers 129 kW (180 hp) via a single-gear transmission in the rear axle.

To alleviate pressure for haulage operators caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, FTA has partnered with freight exchange platform, Haulage Exchange, to deliver LENS (Logistics Efficiency Network Solution). LENS instantly connects accredited logistics businesses and professionals to loads needing transportation. FTA’s partnership with Haulage Exchange’s smart system gives LENS members the ability to search for loads based on their location and HGV specs (size, body type and available capacity); the system will do the rest of the work by matching suitable loads to carriers. Jerry Kane, FTA’s Commercial Director comments: “We are delighted to be partnering with Haulage Exchange to launch the LENS service for members, which will give operators right across the sector peace of mind that they can continue to operate at the best possible price despite vehicle or work shortages. Haulage Exchange’s expertise in freight exchange underpins the new LENS operation, giving users peace of

“Electric power is a new departure for us, so of course we’ll be monitoring the truck very closely,” continued Mr Harrison. “The environmental benefits are clear, but we are also expecting the eCanter to prove highly economical in terms of its total cost of operation. The early signs are certainly promising.” A single charge gives the eCanter an effective operating range of more than 62 miles (100 km), which is ample for many urban delivery applications. Calor’s vehicle typically covers 30 miles a day, and its batteries are replenished overnight at a recharging point in the depot. Wandsworth Site Leader David Moreno said: “It’s a great vehicle and well suited to this application. The two drivers who have used it so far have responded positively, saying it’s very easy to use.” READ MORE tinyurl.com/yafc6psw


Electric vans for Central Bedfordshire Council’s highways inspectors Central Bedfordshire Council has taken on seven new Nissan E NV200 Electric Tekna vans, which will be used by its highways inspectors, replacing diesel vans. The vans, which produce no emissions, have a 40kWh battery which gives a range of up to 187 miles on a single charge. This will help to reduce the council’s carbon footprint, as the officers drive a significant number of miles each year in order to keep the roads across Central Bedfordshire safe for all users. Inspectors will be using the vehicles to collect data on the condition of road surfaces, potholes, drainage, sign visibility and the extent of hedgerow growth, using Vaisala technology. The data recording means roads infrastructure can be monitored, problems spotted earlier, and maintenance work carried out sooner.

The vehicles will also be used to inspect traffic management sites and for supervision of third parties (e.g. gas, water, electricity) when they are working on the public highway. Councillor Steven Dixon, the council’s Executive Member for Transformation and External Relations, said: “These are just the first electrical vehicles we have purchased as a council and we are investigating ways to roll this out further. “We are absolutely committed to becoming more sustainable as an organisation and this latest initiative to replace some of our fleet with electric alternatives is a great example of how we are reducing our carbon footprint, making long-term savings on fuel and improving air quality at the same time.”

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Commercial Vehicle News


mind that loads will arrive on time, at the best possible price, and ensuring minimal disruption to the supply chain during these challenging months.” Lyall Cresswell, Founder and CEO of Haulage Exchange draws attention to how this exciting partnership with FTA will create future opportunities within the transport and logistics sector: “We’re proud to share our innovative solutions with FTA’s membership. Our 20-year legacy in delivering a market-leading freight exchange platform gives FTA members the confidence they need to improve efficiencies and boost profit margins. Along with fast and convenient tools like real-time visibility and eQuotes, our system matches loads to experienced carriers, keeping your supply chains moving.” LENS also gives FTA members the ability to subcontract carriers if they are experiencing staff shortages or have more loads than their capacities allow. READ MORE www.fta.co.uk/LENS


Volvo and Daimler plan to jointly develop hydrogen trucks Volvo Group and Daimler Trucks have announced plans to form a joint venture to produce heavyduty vehicles with fuel cells for longhaul applications. Joining forces will decrease development costs for both companies and accelerate the market introduction of fuel cell systems in products used for heavyduty transport and demanding long-haul applications. To enable the joint venture, Daimler Trucks is bringing together all group-wide fuel cell activities in a new Daimler Truck fuel cell unit. Part of this bundling of activities is the allocation of the operations of “Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH”, which has longstanding experience in the development

of fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems for various vehicle applications, to Daimler Truck AG. The joint venture will include the operations in Nabern/ Germany (currently headquarters of the Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH) with production facilities in Germany and Canada. The signed preliminary agreement is non-binding. A final agreement is expected by Q3 and closing before year-end 2020.

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Gasrec sees record demand for CNG and LNG Gasrec has recorded a fivefold increase in sales of gas across its commercial vehicle refuelling network in the first quarter of 2020, versus the same period in 2019. This record growth follows an influx of new trucks into the market running on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquified natural gas (LNG) – with demand in March 2020 exceeding the previous peak of September 2014, at the height of the Euro-5 dual fuel era. James Westcott, Chief Commercial Officer at Gasrec, explains: “The growth we have seen has been phenomenal, with volumes more than doubling between the final quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. “Registrations of gaspowered 44-tonners has played a big role, together with the general realisation from the industry that gas represents the best opportunity right now to significantly reduce emissions and running costs.” Gasrec now expects its CNG and LNG volumes to flatten temporarily as European truck production is largely halted due to COVID-19, limiting the opportunity for new gas-powered vehicles to enter the market. Looking ahead, Westcott explains: “We work closely with customers to ensure we have the refuelling infrastructure they need in place before new trucks arrive, so we know the

forward order bank is strong. Once production resumes, we fully expect the steep growth trajectory we’re on to return – it’s just been shunted back from one quarter to another.” Gasrec counts three supermarket chains amongst its major customers – recording heavy fleet utilisation during March in the battle to keep shelves and RDCs stocked. “One supermarket we supply doubled its demand for gas inside a week,” reports Westcott. “But that’s been largely balanced, as in other areas we’ve seen a small volume of customer vehicles – those not carrying essential goods – being temporarily parked up.” Demand for gas year-to-date is currently split approximately 70/30 in terms of LNG versus CNG, with LNG proving most popular for vehicles requiring maximum range. Gasrec supplies fleets from a network of eight refuelling facilities, with its flagship 24/7 site at the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) – Europe’s largest dedicated natural gas refuelling station – currently running at just over 30 per cent capacity. At maximum utilisation, DIRFT has the capacity to refuel 700 heavy goods vehicles per day.

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National Grid takes delivery of 20 Citroën Berlingo Vans National Grid has taken delivery of 20 Citroën Berlingo Vans to maintain the country’s power network. Based in its Warwick offices, the 20 Citroën Berlingo BlueHDi 75 M Enterprise Vans will travel throughout the UK as part of National Grid’s maintenance fleet. The 20 Berlingo Vans were supplied by Robins & Day Birmingham North, and were chosen by National Grid thanks to their combination of load space, equipment levels and low running costs. The M specification BlueHDi 75 Enterprise Vans come with a payload of up to 1,000kg and a load volume of 3.30m3, making the vans amongst the most versatile and practical in their class. The load capacity is enhanced by the availability of Citroën’s Overload Indicator technology, which alerts drivers when nearing, or exceeding, the maximum payload. David Morss, Corporate Sales Manager for Groupe PSA UK, commented: “We’re very happy to announce that National Grid has chosen Citroën as a

fleet partner. The Berlingo Van continues to win awards for its class-leading space, practicality and low running costs, making it an ideal vehicle to help maintain the country’s electric grid. “National Grid are a valued, long-term customer, but it’s always rewarding to supply a new batch of vans. As a high profile business at the very heart of UK infrastructure, our vans will be very visible on UK roads.” Berlingo Vans achieves up to 54.0mpg (WLTP). The Enterprise specification brings standard equipment including air conditioning, rear parking sensors, cruise control with variable speed limiter, an alarm, electric folding door mirrors, tyre pressure monitoring, EXTENSO® modular folding passenger seat with loadthrough bulkhead, front fog lights, DAB radio with 8-inch colour touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple Car Play™

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An Post in Dublin uses FUSO eCanter for zero emission deliveries Dublin’s postal service An Post is using two FUSO eCanters for zero emission deliveries. It is reported that this makes An Post the very first postal service provider in the world to attain zero carbon emission delivery status within a capital city. The FUSO eCanter has a range of 62 miles, suitable for innercity short-range distribution requirements of its customers. The electric drive system carries a motor (maximum output: 129 kW; maximum torque: 390 Nm) and six highvoltage (with each 420 V and 13.8 kWh) lithium-ion battery packs. With quick-charging stations, the vehicle only takes

approximately one and a half hours to fully recharge. An Post’s use of the vehicles means the FUSO eCanter is now running in ten European cities in Germany, the UK, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland.

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Panel of Experts: Logistics

EXPERT PANEL LOGISTICS Commercial vehicle operators have kept essential supplies flowing during the coronavirus pandemic. Our expert panelists discuss what recognition and support the logistics industry should receive, especially when it comes to economic recovery and carbon reducation targets Stuart Thomas, director of fleet and accident management, the AA With more than 20 years’ experience in the fleet sector, Stuart’s extensive knowledge of the industry comes from roles across contract hire, disposal and related fleet services. His experience includes working with organisations including Nissan Finance and Lombard. In 2000, Stuart joined The Automobile Association (AA) and was promoted to the role of director of fleet services, where he is responsible for managing all aspects of the AA’s fleet and small-ormedisum sized (SME) clients. This includes some of the UK’s largest fleets and most diverse business users. In this role, Stuart delivers bespoke contracts and manages a team of more than 35 dedicated account managers, call handlers and sales personnel.

Andy Eastlake, managing director, Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) Andy Eastlake has been managing director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership since April 2012. He has a background in vehicle engineering, specialising in powertrain developments, fuel economy and emissions. Formerly at Millbrook Proving Ground, Andy led the work on powertrain test and development programmes and alternative fuels for a variety of global OEM customers.

Natalie Chapman, head of urban policy, FTA Natalie Chapman is head of south of England and urban policy at FTA, the largest and most influential business organisation in the logistics sector. Natalie has been an integral part of FTA’s policy team for more than 15 years and campaigns on behalf of its 18,000 members. Her role includes developing relationships and undertaking lobbying activities with the main governmental, political and policy stakeholders. Her focuses include city centre issues, such as Clean Air Zones and out-of-hours deliveries.


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The government’s COVID-19 response plans categorises logistics professionals as “key workers”. While many businesses have been able to work from home, the logistics industry has been working tirelessly to enable the country to function, whether that’s replenishing food stocks at supermarkets, or delivery vital medicine and protective gear to the frontline. This highlights how vitally important the transport and logistics sector is. “Commercial vehicle operators, their drivers and support staff have shown what a vital role they play in keeping food and other essential supplies flowing to where they’re needed,” comments Andy Eastlake, LowCVP’s managing director. “We all owe them a debt of gratitude for doing this in such challenging circumstances. We often refer to the logistic sector as the ‘life blood’ of the economy and in the lockdown it certainly has been. The charts of transport sectors in the daily briefing show how even when everybody stays at home, the HGV fleet keeps on trucking.” Put simply, life as we know it wouldn’t be able to function without the logistics and transport industry. Given their vital role, should the government give the industry more recognition or support? Natalie Chapman, head of urban policy at the FTA believes that commercial vehicle drivers deserve to have a decent working environment which includes access to welfare facilities and safe, secure places to park their vehicles. Natalie explains: “For several years, FTA has been campaigning for driver facilities to improve, and in response, we have received empty promises from government; it is now time to show real leadership and deliver the provisions these workers deserve. “And while we were disappointed to see the needs of logistics were not considered in the government’s plans to reallocate road space for active travel, the government has supported logistics in many other ways during the pandemic, such as postponing Clean Air Zones. We want to see government take into consideration the needs of logistics when developing policies; we have seen improvements in this area and hope that

Clean Air Zones The COVID-19 crisis has led the government to delay the implementation of Clean Air Zones (CAZs) across the country so local councils could focus on the pandemic response. Clean Air Zones aim to deter the most polluting vehicles from entering towns and cities with poor air quality to clean up air pollution. Will this delay of clean air measures be welcome news for commercial fleets? Natalie believes the delay has meant that commercial fleet operators could focus on the crisis at hand, and urges the government to consider the financial impact the pandemic is having on businesses. She says: “The postponement of Clean Air Zones (CAZ) is welcome news for commercial fleet operators; logistics businesses have been working tirelessly to support the UK during the pandemic and do not have the funding nor the resources to undertake the necessary vehicle upgrades, or alternatively, bear the charges of non-compliance at this time. “The government must understand the heavy financial toll Covid-19 is having on the logistics sector; many companies are experiencing a serious downturn in business. The economic assessments carried out by government when evaluating the feasibility of charging CAZs is no longer valid; the economy shrank by two per cent in the first three months of 2020, according to the Office of National Statistics, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak is now warning of a significant recession. The government should revaluate whether introducing such an expensive scheme is affordable at this time of economic hardship, especially as CAZs will hit small businesses and specialist operators most – those who can least afford to pay.” The administrative and operational difficulties that industry has been experiencing is also a concern for the FTA. Natalie says: “We are concerned about disruption to supplies of trucks and equipment; the industry needs more time

Panel of Experts: Logistics

with continued campaigning from FTA, this will become a long-term trend.” Stuart Thomas from the AA adds: “It comes as no surprise to those of us in the transport and technology sectors that commercial fleets provide a key backbone to the UK economy. We have long-standing relationships with the Freight Transport Association/ Logistics UK, as well as British Chambers of Commerce and many professional trade bodies, from grocers to utility support services. We have also recently teamed up with the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, IPSE, to provide cost-effective access to breakdown services for our essential SMEs. “We expect there will be ongoing tweaks to policy over the coming months and years as Government looks to support business and the economy to establish a new stability. We hope, within those changes, that the essential role of businesses operating commercial vehicles – and their drivers – is recognised as part of ongoing policymaking.”

to prepare for Clean Air Zones. At FTA, we will be working with local and national governments on the details of these schemes to best support industry going forward.” Stuart Thomas believes that while the delay to clean air zones gives fleets “breathing space”, they should still be preparing for the future. He says: “The reality is we need policy consistency and certainty to allow businesses and fleets to invest in technology for the future. Commercial vehicles tend to stick around for a while, and have a strong second, third and even fourth-hand life in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). For us to see a difference in vehicle mix on the roads in five or even ten years time, the larger fleets will have to make their move to alternative fuels today. “The delay of Clean Air Zones may provide a little more breathing space when it comes to making decisions about where investment should lie, but it should not prevent businesses trialling the options already on the market. There is further education required around the Whole Life Cost (WLC) equation; helping fleet managers and business owners to make informed decisions about their investment in new technology over the total course of its working life, not just considering the upfront investment.” The experience of quieter streets and cleaner air during the pandemic lockdown has given people a taste of how different urban environments can be, so if anything, this may be likely to increase the pressure for clean air measures to be introduced, believes Andy Eastlake. He says: “The delay to CAZs may allow more time, so the range of ultra-low and zero emission vehicles available will be much greater and the options for retrofitting will cover more existing trucks and vans. “There have been growing calls for the recovery from the crisis to be led by green initiatives, so the most enlightened fleets will grab this opportunity to set themselves up for the new expectations of what urban centres can be. LowCVP has a range of reports, tools and advice to help fleet managers who aren’t already compliant and we are already seeing growing interest in these.” Alternative fuels The focus of the government’s transport carbon reduction strategy arguably focuses on electrification. But for heavier goods

vehicles, this is still generally not viable given the cargo and distances they cover. But many commercial vehicle operators have shown that there are alternative options available to green their operations. Andy Eastlake said: “Pressure is growing fast for HGV fleets to cut their carbon footprints as well as reduce polluting emissions, but of course there are far fewer realistic options currently on the table. For most heavy operations, electrification is not yet an option. Renewable fuels produced to strict, verifiable environmental criteria, provide a realistic near-term alternative with significant carbon benefits. “We are expecting the results of the DfT’s Low Emission Freight Trial (LEFT) to be presented in the summer, and we know that gas trucks running on fully certified biomethane have shown some dramatic results. LowCVP has recently published a Renewable Fuels Guide specifically aimed at commercial fleets which explains a range of options with facts, figures and case studies.” LowCVP is also running a webinar on 28 May to explain the opportunities for the adoption of renewable fuels by HGV fleets. Natalie Chapman says that FTA members are keen to transition to low emission vehicles as soon as possible, but they need direction and clarity from government on the right fuels and technologies to adopt. She explains: “We have been working with government to develop a definition of an Ultra-Low Emission Truck (ULET). This would incentivise manufacturers to invest more resources into developing these vehicles; testing new technology can be expensive but a ULET definition would provide clear parameters and stimulate demand. And with cities across the UK looking to go even further than the Euro VI requirements of CAZs, a clear definition would provide authorities with a criterion that can be applied consistently across the UK, preventing the patchwork of standards we are seeing emerge.” “At FTA, we will continue to assist the government in developing a single, clear and workable definition for ultra-low emission truck and vans; we would also like to see clear guidelines apply to fuels,” adds Natalie. Stuart Thomas comments: “Heavy goods vehicles continue to pose challenges for those looking to shift to alternative fuels, with minimal viable options on the market. E May 2020 | COMMERCIAL GREENFLEET


Panel of Experts: Logistics

Final thoughts

 “However, we are excited about the various investments being made and look forward to supporting all the models which come to market, whatever approach to fuelling they choose to adopt.” How will mobility change? The coronavirus pandemic has shown that significantly reducing transport can have major benefits for the environment. Air quality has improved in cities across the globe, with London reporting drops of almost 50 per cent on its busiest roads. Data from Riccardo has shown that Oxford city centre has seen a historic 59 per cent drop in air pollution as a direct result of the coronavirus lockdown. Can fleets continue this good momentum by thinking differently about mobility once the lock down is over? Stuart Thomas believes this may be the time that people consider electric vehicles, as well as greener last mile options. He explains: “There may well be major changes to the way we travel post-lockdown, with a possible increase in smaller journeys leaving individuals and organisations considering whether electric vehicles may fit their needs. Some drivers who have appreciated lower traffic noise, fewer and shorter journeys, may be prompted to finally buy an electric vehicle. “In any case, we would expect businesses and fleets to take the opportunity to consider which journeys are essential and think about how they can best meet their business objectives while supporting the onward push for improved air quality, reduced congestion and a more diverse urban mobility mix. This may also include consideration of micro mobility options for last mile delivery, particularly in city centres and densely populated areas.” When looking at the reduced traffic situation, both Andy and Natalie point out that freight vehicles have largely been operational during the crisis. Andy Eastlake says: “We must remember that the commercial vehicle sector has been operating throughout and that


HGV traffic only dropped by around 40% (compared to buses and trains which are down around 90%) and is now up to almost 80% of ‘normal’. “However, the situation does provide a major opportunity for long-term gains in terms of reduced pollution – and greenhouse gases and noise – if government and businesses adopt practices to lock-in some of the benefits. While virtual working will undoubtedly reduce people movement, your tomatoes, toiletries and timber all have to be physically moved. If fleets can now take an even more ambitious view on what vehicle they buy next and maximising every trip-load, together with helping customers choose more efficient (grouped) delivery options, we can accelerate the changes that were coming anyway, and deliver the economic recovery we now all need.” Natalie Chapman says: “While the overall volume of traffic on our roads has declined since the lockdown, road freight activity has remained essential; businesses within the logistics sector have been working hard to deliver the food, medical supplies, and hygiene products the nation needs during the Covid-19 pandemic. While this is necessary – and logistics businesses are committed to using the cleanest vehicles or method of transportation as possible – there is space for improvement in private travel. “As such, I am pleased to see the government is encouraging active travel among members of the public by issuing guidance for councils to create additional road space for cyclists and pedestrians, helping to improve air quality while making social distancing easier. However, the FTA and its members are concerned the government has not included the needs of logistics within its plans. We have now written to Transport Minister Baroness Vere to request urgent clarification on several areas of the plans which are key to safe and efficient logistics movements throughout our cities, including access to kerbside for deliveries and servicing activity.”L

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Stuart Thomas The reality is we need policy consistency and certainty to allow businesses and fleets to invest in technology for the future. Commercial vehicles tend to stick around for a while, and have a strong second, third and even fourth-hand life in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). For us to see a difference in vehicle mix on the roads in five or even ten years; time, the larger fleets will have to make their move to alternative fuels today. The delay of Clean Air Zones may provide a little more breathing space when it comes to making decisions about where investment should lie, but it should not prevent businesses trialling the options already on the market. Andy Eastlake The lockdown situation does provide a major opportunity for long-term gains in terms of reduced pollution – and greenhouse gases and noise – if government and businesses adopt practices to lock-in some of the benefits. While virtual working will undoubtedly reduce people movement, your tomatoes, toiletries and timber all have to be physically moved. If fleets can now take an even more ambitious view on what vehicle they buy next and maximise every trip-load, we can accelerate the changes that were coming anyway. Natalie Chapman The FTA’s members are committed to ensuring their operations are environmentally responsible and are keen to transition to low emission vehicles as soon as possible. But they need clarity from government on the right fuels and technologies to adopt. That is why we have been working with government to develop a definition of an UltraLow Emission Truck (ULET). This would incentivise investment into developing these vehicles.

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Confidence in maintenance essential for wider electric vehicle take-up

Written by Dean Hedger, EV New Business Development Manager, the AA

The AA is continually investing in upskilling its mechanics out on the road and scaling EV capability within its servicing network to ensure it can effectively support businesses when they shift their fleets to electric While recent announcements have confirmed further public sector investment in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure – including a new Rapid Charging Fund, the reality is low and zero emission cars and vans continue to make up a relatively small proportion of the total number of vehicles on UK roads. However, the trend is positive, with battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) ending 2019 with a record 1.6% of the overall market, while Society of Motor Manufacturer and Trader (SMMT) Year to Date figures to April 2020 for BEVs were up by 161%* In addition, pressure from policymakers is rising, prompting more businesses to explore the option of introducing EVs onto their fleets. Recent improvements to air quality during lockdown have caused many commentators to consider how urban transport can be reshaped over the coming months and years, while increases in London’s congestion charge may push more of the city’s commuters and businesses to consider electric vehicles as a viable alternative option. However, if we are to see commercial organisations invest in electric vehicle technology then, not only do we need to see the infrastructure improved and more vehicle choice and availability, but the costs must also stack up. There is further education required around the Whole Life Cost (WLC) equation; helping fleet managers and business owners to make informed decisions

about their investment in new technology over the total course of its working life, not just considering the upfront investment. Many operators believe Service, Maintenance and Repair (SMR) costs will be lower for EVs than their diesel and petrol equivalents, arguing for greater reliability and fewer engine parts which can go wrong. However, as a percentage of total WLC, this may not be enough to convince people to make the switch. Combine the emissions reduction, increased up-time and fuel costs benefits, though, and it starts to add up. We also need to overcome the perception of a lack of trained EV talent in the workplace, which is causing some organisations to hold back their investment in EVs. Indeed, the 19/20 Operational Fleet Report, by the AA and Rivus Fleet Solutions, suggests more than one in ten fleet managers (and 17% of the largest operators) felt a perceived lack of EV engineers had stopped them investing. With most AA roadside mechanics now trained to the equivalent of IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) Level 2, that perception is unfounded. Indeed, we are continually investing in upskilling our mechanics out on the road and scaling EV capability within our servicing network to ensure we can effectively support businesses when they shift the balance of their fleets to EV, whenever that may be. In addition, our own analysis suggests

many of the same components require maintenance and repair, whether the vehicle is petrol, diesel or electric. Issues related to tyres, brakes and the 12V battery are among the most prevalent in our breakdown data, and they are as common among EVs as traditional petrol or diesel vehicles. The new challenges with EVs come with HV charging cables and HV batteries but could be prevented through better driving education when the vehicles are handed over. Ultimately, we need policymakers to offer more incentives to encourage fleets and businesses to take the next step towards zero-emission vehicles. While we welcome the Rapid Charging Fund, extended plug-in grant and positive noises from government about an electric future, we also believe that bold moves should be considered if we truly want to provide a climate that is ripe for businesses to invest. Such initiatives could include scrapping the VAT on new EV sales, as well as looking at building gigafactories in the UK to help improve battery supply, R&D to increase range and payloads, as well as securing end of life recycling of batteries. There may well be major changes to the way we travel post-lockdown, with a possible increase in smaller journeys leaving individuals and organisations considering whether electric vehicles may fit their needs. Some drivers who have appreciated lower traffic noise, fewer and shorter journeys, may be prompted to finally buy an electric vehicle. In the meantime, the AA is here to support businesses, fleets and their drivers throughout every step of the EV introduction. You can be confident that our EV-trained mechanics will help get you and your drivers back on the road. When any new technology is introduced, the change must be managed effectively. L

* https://www.smmt.co.uk/vehicledata/evs-and-afvs-registrations/ FURTHER INFORMATION For further advice on how to take the next steps on your EV journey, contact us today via #ChatWithDean on LinkedIn via www. linkedin.com/in/deanhedger/ or contact the Business team on 0800 316 0410. www.theaa.com



E-Cargo Bikes

E-Cargo bikes for local authorities

Tim Anderson, Head of Transport at Energy Saving Trust, said: “It is exciting to see the strength and breadth of applications supported by the eCargo Bike Grant Fund. We received 58 applications and the 18 local authorities who have been successful in securing funding offered compelling cases for ecargo bikes across a range of activity. These projects will purchase a total of 273 ecargo bikes and nine ecargo bike trailers, Eighteen local authorities in England have secured funding from enabling more businesses to benefit from the Department for Transport’s £2m eCargo Bike Grant Fund, access. A further 409 ecargo bikes have been grant funded direct to 146 organisations which will enable them to purchase e-cargo bikes for either local through the national element businesses or for use within their own fleets of the programme. “E-Cargo bikes are an The Department for Transport’s £2m go to City Parks. Five will go attractive low carbon Cambri eCargo Bike Grant Fund was established to courier company Zedify to transport solution d g e s hire County to help councils and companies to replace support business deliveries that are becoming e-cargo Council’s their polluting vans with ecargo bikes. across the city and the more widely Eighteen local authorities in England have remaining bikes will be adopted. They offer be used bikes will secured the funding, which will enable them used by five city businesses, significant benefits, for first deliveri m to purchase ecargo bikes for either local including Gunns Florist, most impressively i l e business use or for use within their own fleets. Brighton and Hove Energy fuel cost savings residen es and a tial sh One of the successful applicants was Services Co-op (BHESCo), and contributing scheme aring Cambridgeshire County Council, who plans to Real Patisserie, Brighton to improved local deploy 30 e-cargo bikes across four initiatives Gin and Mittens Plumbing, air quality which are in Cambridge. These cover first mile deliveries, Heating and Bathroom Design. particularly attractive as a residential sharing scheme, a ‘try before you Dan Curtis from BHESCo said: we work towards a green buy’ leasing scheme and pool e-cargo bikes. “Using an eCargo bike will have a recovery following the Covid Devon County Council’s work will encourage huge impact on the number of households 19 outbreak. With more deliveries to our the uptake of e-cargo bikes across partner that BHESCo can help through our fuel homes than ever, last mile delivery is an organisations to support sustainable active poverty alleviation programme. important area for consideration in our business travel as an alternative to car and “Currently, we have to visit each property journey to reduce transport emissions to net van use. Thirteen ecargo bikes will be used twice; once for a survey to identify the zero by 2050. We expect the eCargo Bike to support Exeter’s ambition for net zero improvements we can make, and then Grant Fund to support wider and longer service with two of the total used by the local again to install the energy saving term uptake of these light vehicles.” hospital’s adult and social care teams to help measures that we have chosen. Chris Heaton-Harris, Cycling Minister, care for the most isolated people in the city. “By using an eCargo bike, we can complete said: “E-Cargo bikes are great for not Brighton & Hove City Council has been the whole process in a single visit, which only business but also the environment, awarded over £85,000 for 12 new eCargo means we will be able to support double helping to lower costs and emissions. bikes for the city. One of the bikes will be given the number of households at risk of cold “This funding will see groceries and to the council’s postal team while another will homes and fuel poverty in our city.” other shopping delivered to people’s


DRIVING THE SWITCH TO CLEANER FLEETS | www.greenfleet.net/commercial

What is the eCargo Bike Fund? Funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by the Energy Saving Trust, the £2 million eCargo Bike Grant Fund was established to help improve the environment and reduce congestion. Local authorities could bid for up to £200,00 to purchase ecargo bikes in their area for use by local businesses or within their own fleets. The scheme was also available for limited companies, where they could apply to receive 20% off the total cost of an ecargo bike, up to a maximum of £1,000 per bike for a maximum of 200 ecargo bikes. To be eligible for funding, an e-cargo bike must have minimum 125 litre cargo volume capacity and minimum 130 kg weight capacity (combined rider and cargo weight).

Private enterprises Peloton Liverpool is a social enterprise that aims to deliver a better cycling experience to all through skills development programmes. Before applying for the eCargo Bike Grant Fund, Peloton already used e-cargo bikes for their own deliveries and cargo. Their goal was to offer B2B deliveries and lease out ecargo bikes to other social enterprises and individuals through a project called Agile. As well as using ecargo bikes for their own deliveries, Peloton strives to help other organisations and individuals access them and reduce their own carbon footprint. The idea for Agile sprung from another project that involved training young men in contact with the criminal justice system, to fix bikes, and attend community events on ecargo bikes to deliver this service. This developed into an aspiration for having a fleet of e-cargo bikes. Daniel Robinson, Operations Director at Peloton Liverpool, said: “Agile is still in its infancy, but the arrival of two ecargo bikes supported by the eCargo Bike Grant Fund has enabled us to extend our offer geographically.” Peloton is now planning to station several ecargo bikes across Liverpool for ease of use and greater coverage. Other than the eCargo Bike Grant Fund, no other funding was accessed. Peloton is now working with Liverpool’s John Moores University to produce a report on the emissions reduced as a result of their ecargo bikes, but what feedback has been received thus far from organisations accessing Agile hasbeen overwhelmingly positive.

Ride Clean is a mobile bike cleaning and maintenance service operating in London, delivering its services to offices, cycling hubs, cafes and houses.The company was created in 2017, designed around using cargo bikes as the main form of transport. Initially, mechanical bikes were used to test the viability of the business. Having used these for four months, the organisation made the transition to ebikes to increase reach and efficiency. Founder Katy Miller knew that she wanted bikes to be at the heart of the business. Before accessing the grant fund, Ride Clean had previously invested in one ecargo bike, and through receiving funding from the eCargo Bike Grant Fund, they were able to expand their fleet. Riders needed to be able to carry the necessary cleaning and maintenance tools, as well as travel across London without the burden of parking, congestion charges and Ultra Low Emission Zone charges. E-Cargo Bikes were the perfect solution as they have the added capacity to carry equipment, an electric motor to assist riders and are exempt from emission zone and congestion charges. The key message received by small businesses, Miller believes, is that there is financial support available for businesses looking to invest in green technology. E-cargo bikes will give Ride Clean a greater geographical range to operate withinand continue to do their work successfully. L

E-Cargo Bikes

doors by bike instead of vans, helping ensure that as transport increases and we recover from Covid-19, it’ll be cleaner and greener than ever before.” The eighteen councils that received funding are: Bath and North East Somerset Council; Bedford Borough Council; Birmingham City Council; Brighton and Hove City Council; Cambridgeshire County Council; Colchester Borough Council; Derby City Council; Devon County Council; Harlow and Gilston Garden Town; London Borough of Richmond; London Borough of Wandsworth; Milton Keynes Council; North Tyneside Council; Nottingham City Council; Plymouth City Council; Sheffield City Council; Southampton City Council; and Wirral Council.

FURTHER INFORMATION www.energysavingtrust.org.uk



Electric Vans

Electric vans around the corner As the push for clean air and carbon reduction continues, more manufacturers are electrifying their light commercial vehicles. Here’s our round-up of the electric vans soon to hit showrooms

Citroen will also launch an electric version of its Relay, which will be built at a factory in Val di Sangro in Italy, with the electric conversion carried out by Citroen’s partner BD Auto. It’ll be offered in ‘L1’ and ‘L3’ bodystyles, with the latter featuring a longer wheelbase and greater cargo-carrying capacity. Citroen says the L1 version will travel 141 miles on a charge, and the L3 will manage 169 miles (NEDC). Nissan e-NV200 XL Voltia van

Peugeot e-Expert

Peugeot e-Expert Citroën ë-Dispatch Peugeot’s electric e-Expert van will come The Citroën ë-Dispatch is also offered with with a choice of two different ranges and two battery powertrains: 50 kWh battery will go on sale the second half of 2020. for 143 miles of range (WLTP) and 75 kWh The e-Expert is the first Peugeot electric battery for a 205 mile range (WLTP). vehicle to offer two battery capacity The batteries are mounted options; 50 kWh and 75 kWh. in the chassis, so the As Compact and Standard body van’s load volume shapes are available with is maintained. the pus h the 50 kWh battery, with a ë-Dispatch is for clea n a range of up to 143 miles available in three i r and carbon (WLTP), while Standard lengths. The XS r e d u continu ction and Long can be equipped model is 4.60m of new es, a number with a 75 kWh battery and is designed electric to give it a range of up for easier access are com vans to 205 miles (WLTP). to urban centres. i n g o Two types of on-board This length, coupled the ma nto rket chargers are available: a with a volume of up 7.4 kW single-phase charger to 5.1m3, makes for an comes as standard and there is an extremely compact van. optional 11 kW three-phase charger. Charging can be done It can also be charged on public rapid using a 7.4 kW Wallbox, which takes chargers for an 80% charge in 30 minutes (50 eight hours, or a 11kW home charger, kWh battery) or 45 minutes (75 kWh battery). which take five hours (for the 50kWh The payload volumes are the same versions). The vehicle is also capable of as those of the internal combustion super-fast charging at a public station. engines and the payloads, adapted to the ë-Dispatch will arrive in UK showrooms 100% electric engine, up to 1275 kg. during the second half of 2020. Citroën ë-Dispatch


DRIVING THE SWITCH TO CLEANER FLEETS | www.greenfleet.net/commercial

Nissan e-NV200 XL Voltia van Nissan is launching the e-NV200 XL Voltia van, an enlarged conversion of the electric Nissan e-NV200 van, which in the UK will be carried out by Bevan Group. The e-NV200 XL Voltia offers a compact body and sizeable cargo capacity. With a load space of 8m3, the new model expands the standard e-NV200’s load space by 90%. This allows businesses to complete fewer trips on each delivery round, allowing them to streamline operations and save time. Combining an elongated load bay with an expansive roof space, the 8m3 van allows drivers to load cargo easily, with standing room ensuring they remain comfortable on the job. The van has an optimised turning circle making it an ideal solution for urban roads. The model is equipped with Nissan’s 40kWh battery and an on-board CHAdeMO charger for rapid DC charging capability. The van has different driving modes, with ‘B’ optimising regenerative braking to recharge the battery on the move, whilst eco mode manages power output to conserve battery capacity. When used together, both technologies maximise range to help drivers go longer on each delivery. Vauxhall Vivaro-e The Vivaro-e will be Vauxhall’s first factory-built electric van, which will be available to order from June. Built on the same line as the dieselengined Vivaro, and available to order in two lengths and two body variants, the new battery electric Vivaro-e has a range of 188 miles on the WLTP cycle. The Vivaro-e’s payload of up to 1,226kgs is only 130kgs less than a Vivaro fitted with a diesel engine. The Vivaro-e is also the only electrified vehicle in its segment that has the ability to pull trailers (with a maximum towing capacity of 1.0 tonne). There are two sizes of lithium-ion battery to choose from; a 75kWh unit provides up to 188 miles of range, and a 50kWh battery, with a range of up to 125 miles (WLTP). The batteries comprise 18 and 27 modules respectively, and the system is cooled via the

Electric Vans

Vauxhall Vivaro-e

cabin’s coolant circuit for optimised range and an increased lifetime. The batteries are packaged under the loading space so that they do not compromise its usage and so that the van has a lower centre of gravity. A regenerative braking system, which recovers the energy produced under braking or deceleration, further increases efficiency. Using a 100kW DC public charging station, charging of the 50kWh battery to 80 per cent only takes 30 minutes – and 45 minutes for the 75 kWh battery. With the VauxhallConnect e-remote control functions, customers can use their smartphones to check the battery’s state-of-charge or programme air conditioning and charging times. Vauxhall has tailored the Vivaro-e to cater for a variety of customer needs, with a panel van and double-cab being available for commercial applications, and a passenger vehicle to follow. The panel van has payloads of up to 1,226kg, with gross vehicle weights ranging up to 3,100kg. As most variants are about 1.90m tall, the Vivaro-e can access parking in basements or shopping centres with low roofs. LEVC VN5 LEVC’s new electric light commercial van will be called VN5 - VN is chosen for van and ‘5’ to represent the volume of the cargo area, 5m³. The VN5 cargo capacity easily accommodates two Euro sized pallets with a gross payload of over 800kg. It has been built with a large side-loading door (enabling a pallet to be sideloaded) and a 60/40 split door at the rear to make loading and unloading easy for the driver. Based on the same architecture and eCity range-extender technology as LEVC’s TX electric taxi, VN5 will offer the same electric powertrain with a pure EV range of 63 miles and with a total flexible range of 301 miles. Like the TX, VN5 will feature a similar ultra-tight turning circle providing unrivalled mobility in busy city environments. Being a range extender with the ability to drive in zero emission mode, the LEVC VN5 is designed to be a a link between out of town depots and city centres. Based on a real world 47 mile (75 km) delivery route into central London, VN5 can make approximately twice the amount of journeys

and deliveries by having the flexibility to operate emission (and penalty) free in the city’s restricted ULEZ environment. VN5 uses lightweight bonded aluminium body structure which is more resistant to corrosion and absorbs twice the crash energy of mild steel. In addition, VN5 features composite body panels which are resistant to dents. Full production of VN5 will commence at LEVC’s state-of-the-art factory in Q4 this year with volume expected to take up 70% of the annual 20,000-unit production capacity. Fiat Ducato Electric Fiat Professional’s first electric vehicle is the Ducato. It will be available later this year following a pilot project to gain real world customer insights. Ducato Electric will feature modular battery size options, with range from 136 to 223 miles (NEDC cycle) and different charging configurations. Speed is limited to 62mph to optimise energy use. Maximum power is 90 kW and maximum torque is 280 Nm. Load volumes are from 10 to 17 m3, and payload is up to 1,950 kg. The Ducato BEV will be available to pre-order later this year. Mercedes eVito The Mercedes-Benz eVito is available to order now, and has already been incorporated into Travel Lodge and S & B Commercials’ fleets. The van offers 85 (70) kW of power, 300 Nm of torque, a 92-mile average range and a six hour charging time, based on three-phase charging. Available in two lengths, the vehicle is priced from £39,895 and eligible

for the plug-in grant, giving up to a maximum of £8,000 off the price. The L2 model offers 6.0 m3 cargo volume, 2,277 kg kerb weight, 3,200 kg GVW, and a payload of 923 kg. The L3 offers 6.6 m3 cargo volume, 2,302 kg kerb weight, 3,200 kg GVW, and a payload of 898 kg. Volkswagen ABT eTransporter 6.1 Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has launched its first fully electric van in the UK, the ABT eTransporter 6.1. The model offers an all-electric range of up to 82 miles with a cargo space of 6.7m3 and delivers a maximum power output of 110PS (83kW), with a 0-62mph time of just 17.4 seconds. The compact battery is fitted underneath the load area to avoid compromising the cargo area of 6.7m3 and payload of up to 1,001kg. The ABT eTransporter 6.1 is also fitted with regenerative braking to recover energy lost when braking. The Combined Charging System (CCS) socket on the new ABT eTransporter 6.1 provides a flexible charging solution, combining the ability to charge via both AC and DC. This means you can use any device that has either a CCS (DC charging) or Type 2 (AC charging) plug type. A Type 2 charging cable is included with the vehicle as standard. The new ABT eTransporter 6.1 supports up to 50kW DC charging using a CCS connector, which means the vehicle’s battery can get to 80 per cent in around 45 minutes. AC charging up to 7.2kW can also be done using a wallbox, which will charge the battery in approximately five and a half hours. Prices of the van start from £42,060. L

Volkswagen ABT eTransporter 6.1



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Commercial GreenFleet May 2020  

Driving the Switch to Cleaner Commercial Fleets

Commercial GreenFleet May 2020  

Driving the Switch to Cleaner Commercial Fleets

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