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ISSUe 128

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GreenFleet DRIVING THE SWITCH TO CLEANER FLEETS

HYDROGEN

A HYDROGEN FUELLED FUTURE The role of hydrogen in reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

THE BUSINESSES BACKING ELECTRIC The UK Electric Fleet Coalition demonstrates that some of the biggest companies in the UK are eager to switch to electric vehicles

PLUS: PROCUREMENT | COMMERCIAL VEHICLES | SMES | RENAULT ZOE ROAD TEST


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ISSUe 128

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GreenFleet DRIVING THE SWITCH TO CLEANER FLEETS

Working towards a hydrogen fuelled future

HYDROGEN

A HYDROGEN FUELLED FUTURE The role of hydrogen in reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

THE BUSINESSES BACKING ELECTRIC The UK Electric Fleet Coalition demonstrates that some of the biggest companies in the UK are eager to switch to electric vehicles

A new campaign group, Hydrogen Strategy Now, has been set up to ensure the UK doesn’t miss the boat when it comes to hydrogen as a fuel.

PLUS: PROCUREMENT | COMMERCIAL VEHICLES | SMES | RENAULT ZOE ROAD TEST

Follow and interact with us on Twitter: @GreenFleetNews

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The businesses that make up the campaign have vowed to invest £1.5bn in hydrogen technologies. They have written to the Chancellor arguing that developing a clear, strategic plan for hydrogen will not only help meet net zero targets, but will also create green jobs. The value of hydrogen as a green fuel has been mooted over the years, and this group of businesses is spurring the government into action so that hydrogen can finally become a viable fuel in the near future. Rob Dale from Hydrogen Strategy Now explains further on page 14. Similar in nature, the UK Electric Fleet Coalition has been established to show government that some of the biggest companies in the UK are prepared and eager to make the transition to electric vehicles, but they need that ambition matched by government. The Climate Group’s James Court writes about the Coalition’s aims on page 10.

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Angela Pisanu, editor

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Issue 128 | GREENFLEET MAGAZINE

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Contents

Contents GreenFleet 128 05 News

10

31

Nissan debuts electric coupe crossover Ariya; autonomous vehicles could face signal black-out from skyscrapers; and fleet electrification critical for EV revolution

10 Electric Vehicles

14

The UK Electric Fleet Coalition aims to show government that some of the biggest companies in the UK are prepared and eager to make the transition to electric vehicles, but they need that ambition matched by the government. The Climate Group’s James Court, explains further

13 Electric vehicles

With 5.3 million vehicles on the roads, UK fleets have the potential to accelerate an electric vehicle revolution. A new report from Cornwall Insight and PwC explains how

14 Hydrogen

The UK has the unique opportunity to become a world-leader in hydrogen, but without a strategy, the country is at risk of missing the boat. Rob Dale explains how the Hydrogen Strategy Now campaign has been established to prevent this from happening

16 Procurement

18 20

British Gas orders 1,000 electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans; Ford introduces automatic EV mode in PHEV Transit Custom; and Royal Mail to trial prototype of LEVC’s new electric van

28 Commercial GreenFleet: Interview

As well as building a dedicated biomethane gas filling station at its head office in Bracknell this year, the John Lewis Partnership has a target to stop using fossil fuels across its entire 4,800 fleet by 2030. Justin Laney, general manager of central transport at the John Lewis Partnership, talks through the plans

31 Commercial GreenFleet: Alternative Fuels

Six months on from taking delivery of ten IVECO Stralis Natural Power trucks, Nicholls Transport is enjoying strong driver acceptance and is finding urban deliveries and motorway trunking routes are the sweet spot for gas power

18 Road Test:

32 Commercial GreenFleet:

Richard Gooding finds subtly evolved looks and an upgraded interior enables the Renault Zoe to enter a more upmarket phase, without sacrificing the driving, range and practicality benefits that have become its hallmarks

A report from the Cross River Partnership explains how local authorities can support the uptake of cycle logistics in support of a green recovery in cities as they emerge from lockdown

20 Expert Panel: SME Fleets

Road Test: Toyota Proace City Icon SWB

With many SMEs negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, any efficiencies that can be gained from their fleet operations is welcome. Our expert panelists share their advice on streamlining fleet management, improving SMR practices, and reducing emissions

GreenFleet magazine 4

News

Public procurement organisation Crown Commercial Service can support public sector fleets on their journey to net zero with a range of products and services to ease the transition to electric

Renault ZOE GT Line R135 Z.E 50

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26 Commercial GreenFleet:

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

Cargo Bikes

34 Commercial GreenFleet:

A new entrant into the compact light commercial sector, the Proace City brings a new size of vehicle to Toyota’s acclaimed CV nameplate. Richard Gooding discovers that its ease of use and practical nature should win it many friends

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News

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

New Nissan Ariya electric SUV unveiled Nissan has revealed its Nissan Ariya electric coupé crossover, which has an estimated range of up to 310 miles (WLTP) and a choice of two or all-wheel-drive models. Built on an Alliance-developed EV platform, the Ariya is part of Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility strategy to further improve the appeal of its vehicles and achieve a future with zero emissions and zero vehicle fatalities. Incorporating the three main pillars of the strategy (Intelligent Power, Intelligent Drive and Intelligent Integration), the Ariya combines advanced electric vehicle technology with a new level of seamless human-machine interface connectivity, offering an entirely new driving experience. The Ariya 63kWh two-wheeldrive model is ideal for urban and suburban commuters. The Ariya 87kWh two-wheel drive models expands on it with an upgraded powertrain and additional range. The Ariya e-4ORCE 63kWh allwheel-drive model offers almost no compromise on range, and

combines ample performance and innovative new technologies, including twin electric motors and e-4ORCE control technology that deliver balanced, predictable power to all four wheels. The Ariya e-4ORCE 87kWh all-wheel-drive will offer a longer range coupled with pure power thanks to the e-4ORCE technology. Topping the range, the Ariya e-4ORCE 87kWh Performance model benefits from a higher power output and will be the epitome of the best performancetechnology combination. The Ariya also has ProPILOT which is a hands-on assistance system that helps drivers stay centred in their lane, navigate stop-and-go highway traffic and maintain a set vehicle speed and distance to the vehicle ahead. More details about Ariya’s availability and pricing in Europe will be shared in the coming months. READ MORE tinyurl.com/y7foacrh

ROAD SAFETY

Tyres over ten years old to be banned on lorries and buses Tyres aged ten years and older will be banned from lorries, buses and coaches on roads in England, Scotland and Wales to improve road safety. The ban follows research which shows that aged tyres suffer corrosion which could cause them to fail. The move will make it illegal to fit tyres aged 10 years or older to the front wheels of lorries, buses and coaches, and all wheels of minibuses. The secondary legislation will be laid in the autumn and will also apply to re-treaded tyres – with the date of re-treading

to be marked – making the age of the tyre clearly visible. Drivers, owners and operators are responsible for the safety of their vehicles. This will also now include ensuring vehicle tyres meet the new requirements. The government will also be asking DVSA to continue checking tyre age as part of their routine roadside enforcement activities and adding an additional assessment to the annual test scheme (MOT test).

LowCVP’s Andy Eastlake

The time for change is now As I do the final draft of this piece (beer in hand), the whole LowCVP team are recovering from running our first ever online annual conference. I know the Greenfleet365 series have been operating very successfully for a while. But for us, the prospect of hosting more than 1,000 registered delegates, to a full day, multi breakout conference, exhibition and networking event, came with some trepidation. Throw in a critical speech from the secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP and an announcement that were renaming, rebranding and resetting our vision, and you’ll forgive me for the distraction. But we were well able to make a virtue of necessity by running the event in virtual form and “walking the talk” by slashing the carbon footprint of the conference compared with this and similar events held in the past. With the benefit of hindsight now (and a second beer) I don’t see any reason why we won’t continue to do a lot more of this online, even when social distancing is a thing of the past. Alongside our conference, at which the Transport Secretary made a very clear statement that we’re on the cusp of a green transport revolution, we ran a stakeholder opinion survey which reaffirmed ours and the minister’s conclusion. Our survey which – just prior to the event – had been answered by over 200 expert stakeholders, certainly engaged the people who completed it, judging by the amount of expansive comments we received in the boxes with ‘open’ answers. People took around three times as long to answer the ten questions than we’d expected them to take. The vast majority of our respondents (over 91%) agreed with Grant Shapps that now is the moment for a ‘reset’ in terms of decarbonising road transport with 85% saying that the disruption caused by the pandemic has opened the door to the public accepting more radical and effective policy prescriptions for ‘greening’ road transport. While most respondents to the survey said that the right balance must be found between economic and environmental objectives, almost a third (29%) said that environmental concerns should be prioritised even if there is an economic cost. A majority of respondents (over 62%) think that a ‘win/win’ for the environment and economic recovery can be achieved if the right policies are implemented. More than three-quarters of those who responded (77.5%) think that, in the wake of the pandemic, the £27bn earmarked for new roads in the March Budget should be reallocated to other uses. And our stakeholders also see and accept the challenges ahead, with shared and public transport not expected to return to “normal” in the next year and an expectation that personal changes, costs or sacrifices are necessary. But the overriding feeling was one of energy, ambition and innovation to deliver the new net zero goals. As the Transport secretary set a new target to remove (not reduce) carbon from transport and the LowCVP announced its ‘Reset’ agenda, the survey showed every option (travel demand, ZE vehicles, low carbon fuels and modal shift) should be embraced and near term policies in every area will be welcomed, to set us on the right track. So whilst tired now (and third beer in hand) I’m left with a real optimism for the future of whatever we rename the LowCVP, because I know we are doing the right things at the right time with the right people, to deliver the right result of zero emission mobility for all! Now where’s that fourth beer! For the full results of LowCVP’s Annual Conference survey, click here

FURTHER INFORMATION READ MORE tinyurl.com/y7foacrh

www.lowcvp.org.uk

Issue 128 | GREENFLEET MAGAZINE

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News

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

Autonomous vehicles could face signal black-out from skyscrapers Autonomous vehicles could face signal black-out in cities caused by skyscrapers and other urban infrastructure, according to autonomous vehicle software company Oxbotica. When a street is densely populated by tall buildings on both sides, “urban canyons” are formed. This can cause the GPS signal at ground level to be degraded or lost, either through satellite signals being obscured, or through multipath effects: a phenomenon where radio waves bounce off surroundings and form multiple signal paths. The number of tall buildings (above 200m) has risen by 650% in the last five years and with this number set to increase again by up to 20% in 2020, the frequency of urban canyons in our society is only set to grow. Interruption of GPS signals, through connection drops or multipath degradation, has potential safety and operational implications for autonomous vehicle systems that rely heavily on satellite-based navigation. Even a standard three-storey building is enough to create signal disruption at ground level. And the problem is worse at higher latitudes where satellites tend to be lower in the sky. If no suitable fallbacks are in place,

this can affect autonomous vehicles in these environments, including mass transit shuttles, buses, city delivery vehicles and cars. However, canyons are not the only issue with GPS dependency. Sunspots formed during the sun’s 11-year magnetic field cycle cause marked changes in the solar wind. This impacts the upper atmosphere which can in turn interfere with GPS satellites. The solution is to use a mix of radars, cameras and lasers to navigate and localise rather than relying solely on GPS. Paul Newman, CTO & Founder at Oxbotica, said: “My first job was in the maritime positioning industry where we were providing alternatives to GPS positioning systems for ships and oil rigs in the Gulf Of Mexico two sun-cycles ago, now I’m in conversations about the same problem hitting autonomous vehicles on our roads, and in our mines - on top of being in any number of canyons. “While it is harder to figure out your location using vehicle-mounted sensors rather than being told it by GPS, the rewards are many. Entirely new commercial opportunities open up working underground is no different to a high street, an autonomous shuttle is no

MOBILITY

EV CHARGING

West Midlands to trial e-scooters from end of the summer

Mazda selects NewMotion as EV charge point partner

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and Birmingham City Council are leading e-scooter rental trials in the West Midlands. In partnership with the other six West Midlands local authorities, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton, as well as Warwickshire, the trial follows recent Department of Transport legislation to accelerate the deployment of e-scooter trials across the UK. In the West Midlands, the appointment of an e-scooter operator is expected in August, with the roll-out of a twelve-month trial expected by the end of August. According to the local authorities involved, some 30 potential operators have shown an initial interest in running the trial scheme. The trials will take place in dedicated zones in each local authority, which have been selected carefully to be manageable in size, covering areas where existing on-highway infrastructure is in place to safely accommodate e-scooter use.

Mazda UK has chosen NewMotion as its preferred charging partner in the UK in advance of its soon-tobe-launched electric MX-30. NewMotion will support the introduction of charging infrastructure to Mazda’s dealer network and be the recommended supplier for home charging for MX-30 owners. The MX-30 is Mazda’s first all-electric production vehicle. Its 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery delivers a range of approximately 124 miles and comes with AC charging up to 6.6kW and DC rapid charging designed to meet 125A Combo Charging standards up to 50kW. Mazda MX-30 owners will be able to add NewMotion’s dynamic power management to their charging package, which helps manage home energy consumption. This feature monitors the total electricity consumption in your home and dynamically adjusts the charge speed of your car. If there is enough capacity left, the charge speed increases automatically. The partnership with NewMotion extends beyond the home charging experience, as MX-30 drivers on-the-go will be able to access NewMotion’s UK public roaming network of over 2,500 charge points, including over 1,000 rapid chargers. For those looking to go even further afield,

READ MORE https://tinyurl.com/yb5wsbwp

different to a haulage truck in a mine. This is a powerful concept and underpins our Universal Autonomy software platform.” Oxbotica’s technology is able to work independently of any external infrastructure, allowing continuous localisation and safe control of its vehicles - even without a GPS signal. Oxbotica’s localisation system is not reliant on a single sensor modality, and instead uses a mixture of radar, laser and vision sensing to deliver autonomous operation in a vast range of settings, on any vehicle platform, under any conditions. Ben Upcroft, VP of Technology at Oxbotica, said: “There are so many urban canyons and GPS ‘blind spots’ across our towns, cities and countryside, that we can’t rely on GPS for accurate navigation. While this may pose a problem for some autonomous vehicles, our software is designed to mitigate this and is able to work independently of a GPS signal, helping us to bring autonomy to any vehicle in any environment – this is the central focus of our Universal Autonomy vision.” READ MORE https://tinyurl.com/ycu3v7hc

NewMotion also offers access to 155,000 charge points across 35 countries in Europe. Under the deal, NewMotion will also be helping the Mazda dealer network to plan for and install EV charging solutions ready for the MX-30’s arrival in the UK early in 2021. With installation work beginning in the summer of 2020, the infrastructure will provide charging for Mazda’s showroom EV models, employees who commute to work using personal EVs and customers who already drive plug-ins. The charge points delivered under the partnership will be a range of 22kW AC and 25kW DC chargers. These will offer fast charging speeds and ensure Mazda’s infrastructure is futureproofed for forthcoming EV models. UK pricing for the full Mazda MX-30 range will be announced later in the year. READ MORE https://tinyurl.com/y9yyny2b

Issue 128 | GREENFLEET MAGAZINE

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News ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Fleet electrification critical for EV revolution A new report from Cornwall Insight and PwC finds that UK fleets have the potential to accelerate an electric vehicle (EV) revolution, with a shift to zero tailgate emissions generating fuel cost savings of around 63% across a fleet. With 5.3 million vehicles on the UK’s roads, fleets are a major part of the transport sector. As the UK moves towards net zero, fleets could be a crucial component in this journey by leading the charge in the electric vehicle roll-out - a move that would represent half of the number of EVs expected by 2030. The decarbonisation of the light vehicle fleet will also have a positive impact on air quality. Research in the report states that if all 5.3 million fleet vehicles were to generate zero emissions as much as 30 million tonnes of CO2 would be eliminated around 25% of all UK transport emissions. In evaluating the electrification of the fleet market, the report identifies which segments

of new car registrations (56%) in 2019. So it is easy to see how the electrification of fleets has transformative implications for EVs. And with a life cycle of between two to four years, fleet electrification has the potential to accelerate growth in the private, secondhand market. As fleets renew their stock, this will not only deliver greater choice and affordability for consumers but will, in turn, act as a catalyst for increased consumer adoption of EVs. Choice and affordability are still one of several barriers to EV update. However, as the fleet electrifies, this will reinforce the need and underpin the economics of EV charging infrastructure throughout the UK. This will ensure ‘range anxiety’ does not stall the electrification of this vital segment. READ MORE https://tinyurl.com/yc7bz8ae

TECHNOLOGY

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Volvo app gives PHEV drivers insight into electric driving patterns

New road building harming electric vehicle adoption efforts

Volvo has introduced a range of new features on its Volvo On Call smartphone app in all Volvo On Call markets. The new features allow drivers to see how much distance they have driven in fully electric mode, along with their electricity and fuel consumption, among other metrics. Later this year the service will also give drivers the possibility to see the impact of their driving on their CO2 footprint, as well as the estimated fuel costs saved by driving in fully electric mode. For applicable Volvo Recharge models, bought during the offer period, the platform will also inform drivers on the status of the electricity refund launched last year. Recharge is the overarching name for all chargeable Volvos with a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain. The new Volvo On Call functionalities are available for

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of the sector will be crucial to leading the EV revolution and outlining a road map that fleets may follow as they electrify. The report finds that fleet electrification is a critical catalyst that will enable the EV revolution in the UK. Field services, depot-based logistics and leased corporate car fleets are likely to electrify first. The report also finds that government policy has a critical role to play in enabling the EV fleet transition, and that the business models of charge point operators need to incorporate some key principles to be successful. If fleets are to maximise the opportunity of electrification, they need to take some critical and preparatory steps in designing their road map. Not only do fleets constitute a sizeable proportion of the UK’s transport sector, but they are also responsible for more than half

all Volvo plug-in-hybrid models built on the SPA and CMA platforms sold after 2015, in the 47 countries around the globe where Volvo On Call operates. In China, similar functionalities will be integrated into the popular WeChat platform. Volvo Cars was the first established car maker to commit to all-out electrification and a long-term future beyond the traditional internal combustion engine. It is already now a market leader in plug-in hybrid sales, which comprise almost 25 per cent of the company’s total sales in Europe. The updates to Volvo On Call were informed by customer feedback, and Volvo Cars will continue to develop the platform going forward, designing the service around customers. READ MORE https://tinyurl.com/ydehrgst

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

A new report has warned that the vast majority of emissions cuts from electric vehicles will be wiped out by government plans for new road-building. Transport for Quality of Life has used data collected by Highways England to calculate that 80 per cent of the CO2 savings from clean cars will be negated by the £27 billion planned roads programme. The government says that vehicle emissions per mile will fall as zero-emissions cars take over Britain’s roads, but the report argues that government funding would be better spent on public transport, walking, cycling, and remote-working hubs. It also points out that the electric cars will continue to increase local air pollution through particles eroding from brakes and tyres. The environmental consultancy’s paper estimates that a third of the predicted increase in emissions would come from construction - including energy for making steel, concrete and asphalt. A third would be created by increased vehicle speeds on faster roads, and a

further third would be caused by additional traffic generated by new roads stimulating more car-dependent housing, retail parks and business parks. Lynn Sloman, who compiled the report, also warned that the electric car revolution, frequently highlighted by the government, would happen too slowly for transport to achieve the UK’s carbon-cutting goals. She said: “If we are to meet the legally-binding carbon budgets, we need to make big cuts in carbon emissions over the next decade. That will require faster adoption of electric cars - but it will also require us to reduce vehicle mileage by existing cars. Unfortunately, the government’s £27 billion road programme will make things worse, not better.” READ MORE https://tinyurl.com/yd57x4bo


News

EV CHARGING

Vanarama to provide EV leasing customers with free home charge points Online car and van leasing company Vanarama has announced that it will be providing EV leasing customers free electric vehicle home charge points. The scheme, which will initially run from 9 July 2020 to 4 August 2020, has been developed in partnership with ChargedEV, with the aim of encouraging customers to transition to electric car leasing. “We’re seeing a huge consumer shift in the automotive industry away from ownership and towards usership. Car leasing is the great enabler for our customers to keep up with the pace of change. We know that one of the key reasons consumers hesitate about making the change to EV is the access to charging points, our home charge point offer will remove this

obstacle and make leasing an electric vehicle more accessible for our customers,” said Andy Alderson, CEO and founder of Vanarama. The Smart+ home charge points, which will be supplied and fitted by ChargedEV, will feature A 7kW output, programmable charge times and load balancing which will deliver a simple and effective solution for customers. “It is great to be working with a partner that understands the needs of its customers and is willing to commit to supporting that transition for EV drivers with such a great piece of kit whilst covering those costs.” said Mark Pymm, Director of ChargedEV. Supported by the Kaluza data intelligence app using AI and machine learning to optimise smart home devices for a more

flexible and resilient energy system, the Smart+ is feature rich and futureproofed to ensure customers can get the very best from their home charging experience. “Statistics show that where off street parking is available, over 80%of charging will be done at home. But it is also clear from research and feedback that one of the concerns people have about moving to an electric vehicle is how easy it is to charge and the cost of installing a charge point. We hope our offer will make this happen seamlessly and simply for our customers,” concluded Paul Kirby, Head of EV, Vanarama. READ MORE https://tinyurl.com/yasycvo6

EV CHARGING

ENVIRONMENT

Cost of charging EVs around the world revealed

Net Zero Transport Board debates green transport plans

The cost of charging electric vehicles around the world has been revealed, with the UK coming in 10th out of a list of 50 countries ranked from most to the least expensive, according to new research from Uswitch. com, the comparison and switching service. The most expensive country to charge an electric vehicle is Denmark, followed by Germany and Belgium. The data analysis uses statistics from the World Energy Council and ZapMap to calculate the cost per charge based on an average annual mileage of 10,000 and an average charging time of four hours for a standard electric vehicle. To calculate the results, the research looked at the cost per KWh for 50 different countries, the average mileage per driver and miles per full charge. The list below shows the top 10 countries by EV charging cost, giving the annual cost per vehicle associated with travelling 10,000 miles: 1 Denmark £501.34 2 Germany £486.59 3 Belgium £412.87 4 Italy £398.12

5 Ireland £383.37 6 Portugal £383.37 7 Spain £353.88 8 Austria £339.14 9 Japan £324.39 10 United Kingdom £324.39 Speaking of the study, Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at Uswitch said: “The use of electric vehicles has clear environmental benefits but for many consumers, the choice to move to EVs can be hindered by perceptions about how much it will cost to charge. “This research shows that, while the costs are not insignificant, the UK is in a strong position compared to countries like Denmark where the price of electricity makes the cost of a charge so much higher. “Of course, as well as the cost savings of rapid charging points, we also encourage consumers to regularly review their own energy tariffs to ensure they’re getting the best deal possible.” READ MORE https://tinyurl.com/y7syp6lo

The first meeting of the Net Zero Transport Board, which was established to help guide the government on the decarbonisation of UK transport, took place on 8 July. The Board brings together professionals from a range of fields including behavioural change and policy as well as experts from a number of prominent industry sectors including environment, science, aviation and technology. The meetings will help create joined up approach to tackling the wide-ranging issue of transport decarbonisation. The group provides the opportunity for the Transport Secretary, Transport Minister Rachel Maclean and Minister for Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng to hear from highprofile expert stakeholders on what steps they feel government should be taking to ensure a green recovery from Covid-19 and the associated economic impact. The agenda covered what further action the government should be taking to support jobs and the economy in line with the UK’s transport decarbonisation goals. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Transport has a huge part to play in tackling climate change and today’s meeting is another important step for this country on our road to Net Zero. “Clearly our ground-breaking Transport Decarbonisation Plan must be shaped by the best brains and informed by the widest array of expertise and experience. ”I’m determined to build a greener, healthier, more prosperous Britain for future generations and I have no doubt that the Net Zero Transport Board will play an integral part in our green recovery.” READ MORE tinyurl.com/y7f4nuyx

Issue 128 | GREENFLEET MAGAZINE

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Electric Vehicles Written by James Court, consultant to the UK Electric Fleet Coalition at The Climate Group

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A strong voice in support of electric vehicles The UK Electric Fleet Coalition aims to show government that some of the biggest companies in the UK are prepared and eager to make the transition to electric vehicles, but they need that ambition matched by government. The Climate Group’s James Court explains further Transport is the largest source of greenhouse I don’t say this to embarrass or discredit gas emissions in the UK and roadside air government predictions, but to highlight how pollution causes thousands of quickly, and dramatically, technology premature deaths every year. A can confound expectations. The rapid transformation of the Businesses too can underplay UK Elec UK’s vehicle stock from their own ability. In 1943 Fleet C tric internal combustion the President of IBM o a l engine (ICE) to electric predicted that “there i t i o brings t n is a vital part of the is a world market for ogethe r the voic solution for net-zero maybe five computers”. es of busines emissions and clean It may be that we look ses alig air. Indeed, recently, back at today’s policy n in their the Committee on conversations about vision oed going e f Climate Change whether we should ban lectric recommended 2032 Internal Combustion Engines by 203 as the date needed for by 2035 or 2030 as obvious 0 an ICE Phase Out. This is in hindsight, but progress must the ambition and leadership start with ambition and leadership. that is needed, yet some are uncomfortable with this scale of change. Eager to transition to electric Consider that in 2010, the UK government This is why international non-profit The predicted the installation of over 2,500 Climate Group has launched The UK megawatts (MW) of solar by 2020, with Electric Fleet Coalition with partners a price range of between 136-250 £/ BT and Openreach. It demonstrates the megawatt-hours (MWh). As of last year, ambition that BT, the second largest there are over 13,000MW of Solar PV UK fleet, has in the future of clean panels installed, and the cost is now transport. And they are not alone. between 30-50 £MWh, one of the cheapest With nearly 80 members, The forms of power generation available. Climate Group’s EV100

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

initiative has brought together a global group of companies whose commitments to fleet electrification will see over 4.5 million vehicles switch to electric by 2030. These businesses have also made commitments to company-wide EV charging roll-out for staff and customers that will see charge points deployed at over 3,000 company locations. In the UK, this includes 28 corporate fleet commitments (~66,000 vehicles), five leasing company commitments (~427,000 vehicles) and 25 customer charging commitments (~500 locations). These commitments clearly demonstrate that the business community is already committed to the clean transport agenda. EV100 companies are playing a crucial role in building market demand that enables investments, as well as bringing staff and customers along for the transition. But more can and must be done to accelerate the switch to clean transport.


The biggest single signal government could give would be to announce an ambitious ICE phase-out date. We are confident that if the policy landscape is supportive, 2030 is a very achievable date A joint vision for the future The UK Electric Fleet Coalition brings together the voices of UK-focused EV100 members and other businesses aligned with their vision of going electric by 2030. Its formation comes at a crucial time. In 2020, the UK government were set to make policy proposals over the ICE phase out ban, and to host the UN COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow. COP26 would have been the largest international climate conference to date, putting the UK in the global spotlight. Hosting COP26 requires the UK to take a leadership role to convince international governments to agree to ambitious commitments, building on the success of the historic Paris Agreement in 2015. Of course, since these plans were formed, the world has been changed by the COVID19 pandemic. The government’s ICE phase out consultation is still planned for the end of July, and COP has now been moved to 2021. These both remain hugely important moments, and an extra year preparing for

COP will hopefully ensure the conference will be more, not less, ambitious. Despite these unprecedented issues, the rationale behind the transition to EVs still stands. We need cleaner air, we need to reduce our carbon emissions, and we need to rethink how our infrastructure is designed to improve our lives and our environment. There is never a bad time to start doing things better, but the calls for the global response to ‘build back better’ are more compelling than ever, and they put into acute focus what the UK’s proposals on green recovery will be. We believe that the UK EV Fleet Coalition will be a significant voice in these conversations. Fleet owners and operators are arguably the biggest influencers in the motor economy, driving both demand for new vehicles, as well as feeding into the secondhand market once vehicle leases expire. The arguments for the UK government to be ambitious in this area are strong. Away from the environmental and health

Electric Vehicles

impacts, EVs present a huge manufacturing and employment opportunity. Much of the UK’s car making strength does not lie in traditional engine production, but in the wider supply side and assembly, areas that are compatible with an electric future. According to a Faraday study, as much as 89 per cent of job and value in the UK automotive sector are directly transferrable to, or already invested in, EV production, and stronger EV policy could boost overall UK automotive employment from 170,000 today to 220,000 by 2040. The policies we need to see are not solely reliant on Treasury money either, although we hope there will be positive news in the coming month on further financial support for EVs. Acknowledging barriers There are of course many existing barriers for companies wishing to make the transition right now. There are issues of supply, both in terms of waiting time, but also in customer choice, especially in the areas of electric vans and other commercial vehicles. There are uncertainties over tax breaks for EV users, as well as the existing cost gap between EVs and ICEs (although this is narrowing quickly), and there are significant issues over the charging network and the wider grid infrastructure, coupled with a balkanised regulatory and planning environment across different local authorities and devolved legislative bodies. Yet none of these are problems are impenetrable. Indeed, there are lots of low hanging fruit that could release investment and allow businesses to make the transition much sooner. The biggest single signal government could give would be to announce an ambitious ICE phase-out date. We are confident that if the policy landscape is supportive, 2030 is a very achievable date. Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach said: “With the country’s second largest fleet of vans, I want Openreach to play a leading role in the UK’s transition to low carbon vehicles. But there are still some major hurdles to overcome. For example, the kinds of vehicles, scale of manufacturing, supply-chains and infrastructure needed to electrify large fleets like ours simply doesn’t exist today. So we need government support to make the transition faster and fuller, and the commitment to maintaining plug-in grants is a welcome first step.” The UK Electric Fleet Coalition aims to provide a strong and positive message to government that some of the biggest companies in the UK are prepared and eager to make the transition to EVs, but they need that ambition matched by the government. We will be announcing the first round of supporters, as well as policy details, in the coming weeks. L FURTHER INFORMATION If you would like to hear more about the Coalition, please contact jcourt@theclimategroup.org

Issue 128 | GREENFLEET MAGAZINE

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


With 5.3 million vehicles on the roads, UK fleets have the potential to accelerate an electric vehicle revolution. A new report from Cornwall Insight and PwC explains how

The government’s net zero ambitions may seem like a secondary priority now as the country struggles to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in some sense the need to decarbonise the transport sector has been strengthened by some of the by-products of COVID-19, such as improved air quality and lower noise pollution in cities. So how can the net zero transport agenda be accelerated? The fleet sector has a crucial role to play, a new report from Cornwall Insight and PwC has shown. With 5.3 million vehicles on the UK’s roads, fleets are a major part of the transport sector and could be a crucial component in the journey to net zero. The decarbonisation of the light vehicle fleet will also have a positive impact on air quality. Research in the report states that if all 5.3 million fleet vehicles were to generate zero emissions, as much as 30 million tonnes of CO2 would be eliminated – around 25 per cent of all UK transport emissions. Financial savings can be achieved for field services and logistics fleets by switching to electric power. A comparison from the Energy Savings Trust that compares a diesel and electric van travelling a distance of 20,000 miles per year shows fuel cost saving in excess of £1,961, or 63 per cent for the electric-powered vehicle. Not only do fleets constitute a sizeable proportion of the UK’s transport sector, but they are also responsible for more than half of new car registrations (56 per cent) in 2019. So it is easy to see how the electrification of fleets has transformative implications for EVs. And with a life cycle of between two to four years, fleet electrification has the potential to accelerate growth in the private, secondhand market. As fleets renew their stock, this will not only deliver greater choice and affordability for consumers but will, in turn, act as a catalyst for increased consumer adoption of EVs. Choice and affordability are still one of several barriers to EV update.

Electric Vehicles

The fleet influence

certainty of revenue and profitability. These are highly desirable characteristics of any emerging market. Fleet charging does not have to rely on uncertain future sales streams and revenue stacking models, such as advertising or data analytics, which dominate consumer charging platform. Government policy The research confirmed that government has a major role to play in enabling fleet electrification by providing certainty to all stakeholders across fleets, EV charging providers and investors. Stakeholders involved in fleet electrification welcomed the clarification in the 2020 budget on the future of benefit-inkind tax rates for company cars and the plug-in vehicle grant, which was thought to unlock some investment. However, there are still pressing concerns for policy to address including a more consistent approach to clean air zones (CAZ) in cities in the short term. In the long-term, a policy gap exists from 2032 to 2050 regarding fleet incentives that will need additional details if transport is to deliver its contribution to hitting net zero.

Well-suited to electric Field services, depot-based logistics Charge point operators and leased corporate car fleets in The report also finds that the business particular are likely to electrify first models of charge point operators and accelerate EV adoption. (CPOs) need to incorporate some The nature of their operations suggests key principles to be successful. charging will be the least problematic. Often Building partnerships across the value being depot based, logistics and field service chain is a winning strategy. To electrify players can typically charge overnight. fleets the processes are long and customer Alternatively, those drivers taking their solutions can be complex. Few if any vehicles home can similarly charge overnight. CPOs will have the capabilities Corporate fleets by their nature are to master every facet more flexible and can use a and the report found portfolio of charging solutions If all 5.3 that partnerships from home, rapid, workplace million allow the biggest and destination. What’s fl e vehicles et chance of success. more, driving patterns for w ere to gene Achieving all these segments are scale is a critical typically predictable and emissio rate zero determinant mostly over short and as 30 m ns, as much of success moderate distances. illion to of CO2 nnes but there are As for buses, their wo different ‘shades’ high mileage and elimina uld be of scale from predictability of routes ted basic infrastructure guarantee high charging (i.e. number of utilisation and a defined time charge points), to the window in which to administer the scale of data or knowledge charge. However, energy demand will on the needs and business cycles of be significant and there are competing the fleets that are electrifying. technology solutions, such as hydrogen Charge point operators must become a trusted advisor to the fleet as it enters into a Fleet charging new and unfamiliar environment. The report also reveals that there is Fleets will have needs ranging from ‘money to be made’ in fleet charging now, basic questions to complex infrastructure whereas stable profitability in consumerrequirements and only a trusted advisor led charging is still in the future. can help navigate fleets through every The fleet market offers a more stable stage of the electrification journey. proposition than the current public charging Business models will also need to be driven network. It can guarantee utilisation of by constant innovation as the needs of fleets charging assets due to a combination mature from basic charging infrastructure of potentially millions of vehicles, with to complex energy management. L high mileage requirements providing a predictable demand for charging. Fleet charging assets are also more likely FURTHER INFORMATION to be purchased by large corporates that Read the report here can enter into long-term contracts providing

Issue 128 | GREENFLEET MAGAZINE

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Hydrogen

The UK needs a hydrogen strategy

The UK has the potential to become a global leader in renewable and lowcarbon hydrogen technology, but we must move fast to realise this opportunity and achieve the maximum economic benefit. It will require ambitious collaboration between government and industry. The UK has a huge number of natural advantages when it comes to hydrogen energy – we have a robust energy If the government is going to achieve its target of reaching net infrastructure, and we have a highly-skilled zero carbon emissions by 2050, hydrogen will be needed. Rob manufacturing base well-suited to a cuttingedge new technology like hydrogen. Dale explains how the Hydrogen Strategy Now campaign has The Local Government Association has been established to spur the government into action already said there could be over 1 million green new jobs created by 2050, and it is clear that hydrogen is going to play an The UK urgently needs a hydrogen in more detail the Government’s plans for essential role in the world’s future, lowstrategy. That’s what the Hydrogen economic recovery from the Covid-crisis. carbon economy. The increasingly bold steps Strategy Now campaign is all about. In just a few short weeks, nearly fifty MPs being taken by other nations underlines the The UK has the unique opportunity to and Peers, of all parties, have added their need for the UK to bring forward urgent become a world-leader in hydrogen, but support to this campaign. It has been raised measures to establish a hydrogen strategy without a strategy we are at risk of missing in Parliament on multiple occasions, and and unlock investment and innovation. the boat. The Hydrogen Strategy Now has secured the endorsement of council campaign has been established by a group leaders, leading academics, and the General What are the benefits? of leading businesses operating in the UK, Secretaries of four major UK trade unions The benefits of having a strong hydrogen united in the belief that the government - UNISON, Unite, GMB, and Prospect. economy are clear – it will drastically reduce must establish a UK-wide hydrogen As the General Secretaries of these trade strategy. Developing a clear, strategic plan unions stated in their letter: “We fully carbon emissions, improve air quality, and create new, green jobs across the country. such as this will unlock significant private support the need to become decarbonised in It can help usher in a new era of clean investment in hydrogen technologies a manner that takes significant steps towards transport, through hydrogen buses, trains, and manufacturing across the country, our net zero targets, whilst at the same time lorries and even ships and aeroplanes, as driving growth and creating green jobs. sustaining and creating high quality jobs, and well as clean heating. It will also provide The economic recovery from the Covid supporting economic growth in all parts of a huge boost to manufacturing in this crisis must be green, clean, and create jobs. the country. We believe hydrogen is key to country and give the UK the opportunity to Hydrogen can play a key role in this recovery. meeting these objectives. It will support the lead the world in an exciting renewable In the longer term, if the government is decarbonisation of heat and the generation and low-carbon technology. going to achieve its legally required target of clean power. It is also critical A UK-wide hydrogen of reaching net zero carbon emissions by not only because it will enable economy will create and 2050, hydrogen will be needed to get there. energy to decarbonise, If the sustain hundreds of but also because it will g o v ernmen thousands of high-skilled, Campaigning government enable transport and t puts fo Our campaign has written to the Chancellor heavy industry to green jobs, in all parts of r UK-wid ward an to urge him to commit to establishing do so too, with the the country. It will drive a UK-wide hydrogen strategy at July’s multiple benefits progress to net zero boost h e strategy to expected fiscal event, which will set out this will bring.” and improve air quality ydro

future cgen, the be incre an d excitingibly .

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


Hydrogen

Why hydrogen? The global hydrogen economy is estimated to be worth $2.5 trillion by 2050, supporting 30 million jobs. Other nations, such as Australia, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and China have already set ambitious strategies for growing their hydrogen economies.

The increasingly bold steps being taken by other nations underlines the need for the UK to bring forward urgent measures to establish a hydrogen strategy and unlock investment and innovation in towns and cities. It will secure private investment into the UK, and unlock export opportunities for our products and skills. And it will increase our energy security by making fuller use of the UK’s natural resources. This is not just a vision for the future, it is a reality for today. Big vehicles across the world are already being powered by hydrogen. As we look to the post-COVID recovery, we must focus on creating high-skilled, green jobs, in sectors that will be critical to the future economy, such as low-carbon energy, transport and heavy industry. The Committee for Climate Change has made it clear that the UK will not meet its net zero targets without significant investment in the hydrogen economy. Tapping into the hydrogen economy The global hydrogen economy is estimated to be worth $2.5 trillion by 2050, supporting 30 million jobs. Other nations, such as Australia, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and

China have already set ambitious strategies for growing their hydrogen economies. Just last week, Germany joined this list with their own €9 billion hydrogen strategy. The European Commission is also creating an EU hydrogen strategy, which includes plans for multi-billion euro investment in hydrogen projects, and schemes to boost sales of hydrogen electric vehicles. It is now clear that hydrogen is going to play an essential role in the world’s future, low-carbon economy. The increasingly bold steps being taken by other nations underlines the need for the UK to bring forward urgent measures to establish a hydrogen strategy and unlock investment and innovation. We should not risk falling behind other nations in developing our hydrogen industry. As a collective, the campaign partners of the Hydrogen Strategy Now campaign employ a combined total of around 100,000 people in the UK, and have a value of £100bn. They stand ready to invest up to £1.5bn in hydrogen projects and create

Germany has now joined this list with their own €9 billion hydrogen strategy. The European Commission is also creating an EU hydrogen strategy, which includes plans for multi-billion euro investment in hydrogen projects, and schemes to boost sales of hydrogen electric vehicles. It is now clear that hydrogen is going to play an essential role in the world’s future, low-carbon economy. The increasingly bold steps being taken by other nations underlines the need for the UK to bring forward urgent measures to establish a hydrogen strategy and unlock investment and innovation. The Hydrogen Strategy Now campaign believes a UK-wide hydrogen economy will create and sustain hundreds of thousands of high-skilled, green jobs, in all parts of the country. A hydrogen strategy will drive progress to net zero and improve air quality in towns and cities. It will also secure private investment into the UK, and unlock export opportunities for our products and skills, and increase our energy security by making fuller use of the UK’s natural resources.

thousands of jobs across the country. The UK’s Net Zero targets cannot be met through hydrogen alone. It will need a complementary approach across different sectors. But introducing a UK-wide hydrogen strategy would be a good place to start. As Baroness Brown, vice-chair of the influential Committee on Climate Change, has said: “The UK missed the boat on wind technology and missed the boat on batteries. We can’t afford to miss the boat on hydrogen.” It is not too late. If the Government puts forward an UK-wide strategy to boost hydrogen, the future can be incredibly exciting. Hydrogen-fuelled public transport in towns and cities across the UK, hydrogenfuelled heating delivered directly to people’s homes, hydrogen-fuelled vehicles helping to decarbonise our transport network and improve air quality. The time to act is now. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.hydrogenstrategynow.co.uk

Issue 128 | GREENFLEET MAGAZINE

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Procurement Written by Rachel Hughes, fleet category lead, Crown Commercial Service

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Supporting the move to zero emission vehicles Enthusiasm to adopt electric vehicles is high, but unblocking the road to electrification can often seem difficult and daunting. Rachel Hughes from Crown Commercial Service explains what procurement support is available With the future and speed of recovery within the fleet industry still unclear, it’s fair to say the impact of coronavirus (COVID19), and the resulting lockdown, has been dramatic: global vehicle production has halted - reducing the capacity of service, maintenance and repair services. As the industry slowly starts to restart, one green shoot of recovery is electric vehicles. The uptake of which is anticipated to grow at a faster rate than previously predicted due to the positive effect lockdown has had on air pollution levels. The continuing introduction of Clean Air Zones across the UK, the fast-approaching Government Fleet Commitment deadline for Central Government fleets, BenefitIn-Kind incentives for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) and the maintained focus on sustainability will continue to support the growth of ULEVs and the phasing out of internal combustion engines.

required and align them with the business need. They also must ensure that there is access to adequate charging infrastructure. CCS is here to support public sector fleets on their journey to electrification with a wide range of products and services to ease the transition to electric. Telematics The use of telematics can be critical in developing a business case and building confidence around the decision to go electric. Data-driven intelligence can help fleet managers understand the dynamics of their fleet and make informed decisions on the transition to electric, ensuring they can demonstrate suitability, return on investment and support the optimisation of an electric fleet once in place. The newly launched CCS framework for Vehicle Telematics & Hardware Solutions (RM6143) provides access to 19 suppliers across two lots offering a range of products and services to help effectively manage a fleet.

Public sector fleets are now reviewing and aligning their fleet policies and determining what their future fleet profiles will look like, to make sure they Charging Infrastructure can adapt to the radically different world Access to charging infrastructure is a the COVID-19 pandemic will result in. This presents the public sector fleet central consideration and a crucial factor in with a great opportunity to reduce their supporting the uptake of electric vehicles. As carbon footprint by optimising vehicle well as taking into account operational fleet usage and transitioning to ULEVs. needs, public sector organisations Although the electric vehicle revolution will also need to think is upon us, there are still many barriers about home-based that fleets need to overcome to and public charging Access make it a reality. Motivations are solutions to to char clear and enthusiasm is high, support the g i n g i n frastruc but unblocking the road to wider transition ture is a central electrification can often seem for workers c o a difficult and daunting task. and citizens. and a c nsideration rucial fa It is, therefore, in supp ctor Where to start? fundamental uptake orting the The first step for fleets is to to identify of elect understand what vehicles are and engage r

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

vehicles

ic


Procurement

with key internal and external stakeholders such as estates and sustainability teams and landlords. Our suppliers can support you by providing consultancy services and feasibility studies that will define issues such as the energy supply and any groundworks that may be required. Once the charge points are in place, a strong ‘back office’ system is needed to support the full end-to-end service. The CCS Dynamic Purchasing System for Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Solutions (RM6213) went live in May and provides access to the installation of charge points for public sector fleets and their workforce, home charging and vehicle charging facilities for the general public. Vehicle Supply As the number of electric vehicles (EVs) available in the market grows, fleet managers need to identify the model that best matches their operating requirements and driver needs. They also need to ensure that they are achieving value for money. Although purchase costs for EVs are higher, running costs are lower, meaning that the Total Cost of Ownership must be considered. A key element in this calculation is the residual value. Demand for EVs will increase over the coming years, and residual values will continue to improve and evolve to position themselves ahead of diesel and petrol models. This will also be reflected favourably in the lease rentals. The CCS Fleet portal The CCS Fleet Portal is a digital platform that provides access to all vehicles available on the UK market, allowing users to search for vehicles by filtering key criteria such as fuel type, body style and emissions. There is also the option to view up to three vehicles side by side and compare the associated technical data. The new Worldwide Light Vehicle

For those fleets who lease their vehicles, the Fleet Portal is a quoting tool. It creates a competitive environment for the lease providers on the Vehicle Lease, Fleet Management & Flexible Rental Solutions framework (RM6096) to return real-time quotes against customer’s profiles Harmonised Testing Procedure (WLTP) figures testing CO2 and MPG on real driving data are included within the technical vehicle data. The Portal, however, is not just a search engine. All vehicle quotes reflect the Vehicle Purchase framework (RM6060) discounts and provide live quotes to support direct award options. For those fleets who lease their vehicles, the Fleet Portal is also a quoting tool. It creates a competitive environment for the lease providers on our Vehicle Lease, Fleet Management & Flexible Rental Solutions framework (RM6096) to return real-time quotes against the customer’s usage and payment profiles. This drives best value for the customer and provides high-level, whole life cost calculations to support their decision making. For shorter-term requirements, or as a potential option to ‘try before you buy’, flexible rental is also an option worth considering and this is available within Lot 4 of RM6096. Fuel Cards The move to EVs needs to be supported by a suitable payment mechanism that is agnostic to the many different charging units that are on our public roads. The CCS Fuel Cards and Associated Services framework

(RM6000) is here to help customers easily procure alternative fuels by providing access to more than 7,000 electric charging points and over 7 hydrogen locations. There are several suppliers to choose from, with each having benefits in terms of network access and commercial pricing (including commercial benefits/savings). Suppliers also make available management information to customers to help inform their fuel strategies, identify increased benefits/savings, forecast budgets and provide emission reports. CSS Fleet team: here to help At CCS, we offer Total Fleet Solutions. An endto-end service that ensures that we can meet your diverse needs, regardless of size or sector. Harnessing the collective public sector buying power, our solutions maximise commercial benefits and ensure our solutions help address policy objectives such as Net Zero Carbon and Social Value. Our teams have in-depth fleet and market knowledge and on hand to support where required. L FURTHER INFORMATION info@crowncommercial.gov.uk

Issue 128 | GREENFLEET MAGAZINE

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Road Test

Renault Zoe GT Line R135 Z.E 50

Written by Richard Gooding

Richard Gooding finds subtly evolved looks and an upgraded interior enables the Renault Zoe to enter a more upmarket phase, without sacrificing the driving, range and practicality benefits that have become its hallmarks What is it? First unveiled as a concept in 2009, the Zoe has spearheaded Renault’s electric vehicle push. A car similar in size to the Clio supermini, the first ‘ZE’ production version appeared in 2012 with a 22kWh battery and a range of 130 miles. Constant refinements introduced ‘Z.E 40’ 41kWh and ‘Z.E 50’ 52kWh versions in 2016 and 2019 respectively. Now capable of up to 245 miles on the WLTP test cycle in 2020, the ‘Z.E 50’ battery is fitted to all new Zoes, with a choice of carried over 107bhp ‘R110’ and new 133bhp ‘R135’ electric motors. Frequently topping electric car best sellers lists, the Zoe has won a host of awards over its lifetime, and Renault was named the GreenFleet Electric Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year in 2019. How does it drive? On first acquaintance, little appears to have changed with the latest Zoe. However, look a little more carefully, and changes become apparent. While the appearance isn’t radically different – why risk damaging sales – new front and rear lights give a more ‘confident’ and aggressive look, and the overall impression is one of subtle assertiveness. Mild it may be, but the freshening up works. Inside, the changes are more far-reaching. Long overdue, a new dashboard and more upmarket materials impart an almost-premium air, making the new Zoe’s cabin leagues ahead of the old car’s. All the touchpoints – steering wheel, steering column stalks and air conditioning controls – are of a high quality, and the new ‘toggle’ switches below the portrait-orientated touchscreen are nice additions. The 10-inch digital driver

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display adds a high-tech feel, too, and is help enable maximum efficiency. The car’s dual easy to use, with smooth transitions and personality as a long range cruiser and eager shortcut buttons for different functions. city zipper remains intact. In common with all electric cars, on the move the new Zoe is serenely quiet and acceleration How long does it take to charge? is brisk. There’s barely any road noise, which Renault has used its on-board ‘Chameleon again points to improved quality, and the Charger’ technology once more on the new damping is very well-judged, feeling Zoe. This means that the new Zoe is firm but still very comfortable. compatible with various power The new Zoe feels nimble sockets and sources. The most and has quick steering, convenient way to charge is he new the T making for a fun driving at home, and a 7kW wallbox n o ds experience. The car can fully recharge the new Zoe buil e strengths iv r can be driven in an Zoe’s battery in nine to 10 d easy-to redecessors, enthusiastic manner, the hours. Renault currently regenerative braking offers a home 7kW of its p gs a much ‘B’ mode really aiding wallbox to new Zoe drivers ut brin quality b d moving retardation. via its charging partner, BP improve el The ‘B’ mode contrasts Chargemaster, subject to e f markedly with the terms and conditions. standard ‘D’ driving mode. It The car can also be recharged noticeably slows the car down at one of the 11,000 nationwide to an almost stop at junctions and public charging points, and a 22kW makes for easy ‘one pedal’ driving. There is charger can refill the battery in as little as only one stage of regeneration, though, and three hours. The new Zoe also supports DC no steering wheel paddles that would enable charging for the first time, and 50kW rapid more control. An ‘Eco’ driving mode also chargers can put in 80 per cent of charge in helps eke out range, by minimising the car’s just one hour and 10 minutes. Thirty minutes’ performance and air conditioning operation. charging at the same point can add 90 miles. To help find the nearest charge point, What range does it have? Renault’s Easy Link navigation system can As before, the new Zoe employs lithium-ion be used in the car itself, or the My Renault technology for its battery, but its capacity smartphone app can also be used to find has grown to 52kWh. That’s 25 per cent charge points along a given route. more energy than its predecessor, which However, there is one word of caution. At pushes range to almost 250 miles on lowerthe time of writing, the 50kW rapid charging specification models. Top GT Line trim cars, function is a £1,000 option on Iconic and as tested here, have an official range of 238 GT Line-specification Zoes. It’s something miles on the WLTP cycle. Features such as a that we think should be standard. Renault heat pump and the extra regeneration mode has introduced new ‘Rapid Charge’ versions

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ENGINE: 100kW / 133bhp synchronous electric motor and 52kWh lithium-ion battery RANGE (WLTP):

GF ECONOMY (mpkWh):

238 miles 4:17

CO2:

0g/km

VED:

£0 first-year, £0 thereafter

BIK:

Road Test

Renault Zoe GT Line R135 Z.E 50

0%

PRICE (OTR):

£29,995 (including VAT and government PiCG, £31,495 as tested)

How much does it cost to tax? As the Renault Zoe is all-electric and emits no tailpipe emissions, it attracts no VED charge. For the 2020-2021 financial year, the Zoe is rated at 0 per cent Benefit in Kind (BIK), stepping up to 1 per cent in 2021-2022. In 2022-2023, a 2% BIK rate applies.

for £1,000 more with the rapid charge functionality as standard, and they would be the new Zoes we’d choose. The extra peace of mind that the car can be charged at a motorway service station for example, is worth the price bump. What does it cost? The Zoe is available in three trim levels and unlike previous Zoes, the new car is only available to buy with the battery, the battery rental option dropped. With the government’s Plug-In Car Grant (PICG) deducted, the £26,495 Play R110 Z.E 50 starts the range off, and comes with 15-inch ‘Flex’ alloy wheels, auto LED headlights, auto wipers, cruise control, keyless entry and start, a 7-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the only choice of the ‘R110’ motor. The £27,995 Iconic R110 Z.E. 50 adds 16-inch wheels, climate control, connected

navigation services, rear USB ports, a synthetic leather-covered steering wheel, a wireless smartphone charger, and a host of driving safety aids including lane keeping and traffic sign recognition systems. The ‘R135’ motor can also be specified in Iconic trim, the Iconic R135 Z.E 50 car starting at £28,495. The top-specification £29,995 GT Line is married to the ‘R135’ motor, and adds diamond-cut wheels, an auto-dimming interior mirror, blind spot monitoring, part-synthetic leather upholstery, privacy-tinted rear windows, rear-view camera, electrically-folding door mirrors and a 9.3-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system. ‘Rapid Charge’ versions of the Iconic and GT Line with the DC faster charging functionality priced at £1,000 more give drivers a wider choice.

Why does my fleet need one? Back in GreenFleet 66, we said that the Zoe “genuinely feels like the first electric car that could catch on.” It has caught on in a big way since then, and the new Zoe builds on the easyto-drive strengths of its predecessors, but brings a much improved quality feel, as well as more striking looks. Importantly, it also keeps its long range ability and fun-to-drive personality. In short, Renault has made a good car even better. It has wisely left alone the parts that were good and greatly improved the rest. The Zoe remains one of the best electric cars on the market and the latest refinements make it an even more compelling choice. A 100,000-mile/5-year warranty – extending to eight years on the traction battery – should help seal the deal. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.renault.co.uk

Issue 128 | GREENFLEET MAGAZINE

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Panel of Experts: SMEs

EXPERT PANEL SME FLEETS With many SMEs negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, any efficiencies that can be gained from fleet operations are welcome. Our expert panelists share their advice on streamlining fleet management, improving SMR practices, and reducing emissions Lee Brown, head of 0Zone, The Grosvenor Group Lee Brown is head of 0Zone, the Grosvenor Group’s innovative and market leading solution to help companies navigate their way smoothly towards ultra-low emission and electric vehicles. Lee is also finance director of Interactive Fleet Management, the Grosvenor Group’s specialist fleet management business, which means he brings a perfect balance between how fleets can drive down their emissions and the financial implications of policy setting. Lee joined the Grosvenor Group in 2001, became finance director of Interactive Fleet Management in 2012 and is well-known for his clear and inciteful advice for companies with car and light commercial vehicle fleets.

Toby Poston, director of corporate affairs, BVRLA Toby Poston is Director of Corporate Affairs at the British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association. He has worked within the sector for more than ten years and currently oversees the association’s communications, events, campaigning and research activities as well as fostering relationships with key industry stakeholders. Prior to joining the BVRLA, Toby was a business journalist for fifteen years, spending much of this time as a reporter and editor within the BBC Business and Economics Unit, working across TV, radio and online channels.

Marc Samuel, head of SME & B2B telesales, the AA Marc Samuel has taken up the newly created head of SME & B2B telesales role at the AA. Ex-Pendragon B2B director and Honda fleet sales operations manager, Marc is putting his 20+ years’ experience in the fleet automotive sector to good use overseeing direct sales activity for the organisation’s rapidly expanding suite of SME products and services. This includes smart breakdown services, managed services, remote and virtual support, as well as EV implementation guidance.

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

Many small businesses have taken a big hit from the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, one in ten small firms have already been forced to make redundancies, despite the government’s furlough scheme. Cash flow is important for SMEs, but many are being crippled by late payments thanks to the pandemic, with 62 per cent having been subject to late or frozen payments since March. It is crucial that SMEs run as efficiently as possible to keep costs down, now more than ever. For those SMEs that operate a fleet or vehicles, our expert panelists share some thoughts on how to streamline SME fleet operations. Lee Brown, head of 0Zone at Grosvenor Group suggests that now is a good time to assess the mobility requirements of the business. “Map out why travel is needed, where it is needed, when it is needed and who needs to travel,” advises Lee. “Then determine what vehicles you need to support this and how you source, fund and manage them.” Because of the Covid-19 lockdown, Lee believes that there has been a monumental shift in attitude towards conference calls and online meetings. “This is likely to change the landscape of how we interact with customers, prospects, suppliers and remote members of staff forever,” says Lee. “If the model for mobile working and use of vehicles is changing, now is a great time for SMEs to review their vehicle fleets as they look to the future. “There are some quick fixes for small businesses in terms of driving down costs – for example, introducing more stringent maintenance controls, or seizing the opportunity to reduce fuel bills by discouraging unnecessary travel. “However, significant long-term savings can be made by looking at new vehicle policies that encourage ultra-low emission and electric vehicles, salary sacrifice schemes, which have suddenly become very financially attractive due to the very low BIK on sub 50gsm/km CO2 vehicles, and looking


Making the switch With the financial worries that the pandemic has caused, SMEs could be forgiven for delaying the purchase of alternatively fuelled vehicles because their upfront costs are high. What would our panelists advise in this situation? Toby Poston, director of corporate affairs at the British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA) says that while the shift to electric vehicles can be daunting, the barriers to going green are rapidly disappearing, particularly for business fleets. “The £3,000 Plug in Car Grant, the £350 workplace charging grant, the 0 per cent company car tax rate and the arrival of a new generation of more affordable, longer range electric cars and vans have all helped to make an increasingly attractive total cost of ownership proposition for fleets,” explains Toby. “There is a lot of advice and case studies out there, but a good place to start would be the Government’s Go Ultra Low website, which has a section dedicated to business and fleets and an excellent list of FAQs.” Marc Samuel believes that education about the actual running of an electric vehicle

Panel of Experts: SMEs

at non-maintenance contract hire with a ‘managed’ pay on use maintenance service.” “If you own a vehicle fleet, and are suffering from cash flow problems due to lockdown, a sale and leaseback can be a good option as this moves an owned fleet to contract hire with an immediate cash injection,” Lee adds. Marc Samuel, head of SME & B2B telesales at the AA believes that small and medium sized companies should not be afraid to ask their suppliers including leasing companies, insurers, and roadside assistance providers - for help and advice. He says: “It is in everyone’s interest to keep Britain’s businesses moving, and we would recommend UK SMEs make their voices heard when it comes to policy and decision-making.” Marc also points out that now is a good time to cash in on any trials that are on offer, as the industry is looking to entice people into electric vehicles. He says: “Our advice for SMEs looking to make changes to their fleet, such as altering the vehicle mix or moving to full electric, is to engage early with the vehicle manufacturers and charging companies. There is a real desire to share knowledge and experience, so SMEs should be able to take advantage of vehicle trials and extensive consultancy support when deciding which route is best for them. It makes sense to do a vehicle and route analysis, to decide which vehicles are necessary. “Ask as many questions as you need in order to feel comfortable with your decisionmaking, get financial buy-in from everyone involved, and make sure that drivers are part of the process as they will be instrumental to the successful transition. Training and engagement activities are key to electric vehicles living up to their potential, especially in an SME environment where organisations cannot afford to make costly mistakes.”

fleet is needed. He says: “More awareness is required around the whole life costs (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 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 consistent across all powertrains. Although SMR costs for EVs may not be enough of a saving in isolation to convince SMEs, the relative cost benefits are stacking up alongside other upsides, including emissions reduction, increased uptime, and fuel cost benefits. “Workplace charging has the potential to be a revenue generator as well as an upfront cost, while electric vehicles offer various tax benefits, as well as future-proofing SMEs for the eventual roll out of more Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones.” Lee Brown agrees that whole life costs must play a big part in any decision about electric vehicles. He says: “EVs are more expensive at the moment and you may need to invest in workplace charging. “However, if you look at their overall running cost including ‘fuel’ (energy), depreciation, maintenance and taxation/ employer’s NIC, they are often better value in the long run. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) attract zero class 1a National Insurance currently whereas the costs for equivalent combustion engine vehicles run into the thousands per vehicle each year. “We are working with a wide range of customers at Grosvenor to develop

ultra-low emission and electric vehicle policies based on whole life costs, and when you compare these ‘like for like’ with equivalent petrol and diesel models, the facts speak for themselves.” Lee raises the fact that the UK government offers a workplace charging grant at £350 per socket which is available for up to 40 sockets. “Incentives like this won’t be around forever,” says Lee. “So now is the moment to start moving to EVs, especially as many drivers are travelling less distance due to heightened use of online conferencing which suddenly makes EVs more viable operationally as well as financially. “It’s for this reason we have expanded our 0Zone solution at Grosvenor. This is our service to help companies make the smooth transition to ULEVs and EVs and we now offer a three-tiered approach that assesses the environmental, financial and operational impact of alternative fuels so that businesses can make a balanced decision.” Service, maintenance and repair Service, maintenance and repair (SMR) arguably takes up a lot of time for SMEs, as time is often used on other matters. But SMR needs full attention, for driver and vehicle safety, as well as to save money. So how can it be managed more effectively? Marc Samules believes that it should start with the drivers: “Instilling good driving practices and ensuring drivers make regular visual checks of their vehicles will help highlight any issues as soon as they arise – and allow them to be addressed proactively, efficiently, and effectively. “Similarly, making sure drivers bring their vehicles in for routine service is vital to E Issue 128 | GREENFLEET MAGAZINE

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Panel of Experts: SMEs

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 identifying any potential issues and taking the necessary steps to repair or replace parts which may cause a problem – before the resolution becomes an expensive one or vehicles and their drivers are kept off road. “Proactively putting in place support with an organisation such as AA Prestige, which has marked a 25 per cent increase in its audited independent network over the past 18 months, can ensure SMEs are ready to respond should any SMR issues arise. Realtime monitoring via the RealTrak dashboard can ensure SMR is managed upfront, while an initial investment in connected technologies and onboard diagnostics can pay dividends in spotting servicing and maintenance needs before they become an emergency.” Toby Poston believes that while managing SMR can be complex and time-consuming, it is more essential now more than ever as cash-strapped businesses exit lockdown and have staff and vehicles returning to the roads after long-layoffs. “There are lot of expert providers out there that can help you with your fleet management hassles, ranging from smartphone apps to a fully outsourced service,” advises Toby. “In many cases, the cost of this service can be more than covered by the savings and efficiencies that can be achieved. SMEs should also take a look at the new ‘Ready for the Road’ package offered by Driving for Better Business, which provides a free driver app and management portal.” “Now that the MOT exemption is being lifted, SMEs are advised to book test slots as soon as possible for any vehicles that are due now or imminently. We are expecting a big surge in demand for MOTs in the Autumn months,” Toby adds. Agreeing that SMEs should seek expert help in this area, Lee says: “My advice would be to treat maintenance like any other highly specialist area of business and find an expert to manage it for you.” Researching other mobility options other than vehicle ownership could also help. Lee says: “If you own your vehicles consider moving to a pay on use, managed service from a fleet management specialist so that you can tap into the expertise of qualified technicians who will authorise all work on your behalf. They know what work is reasonable, what the costs should be, what labour time should be applied and will assess whether the work is necessary at all. Having them on your side will deliver immediate savings. “Within Interactive Fleet Management, we are saving money day in, day out by managing our customers’ maintenance for them; all of which is available online to customers through OSCAR365 - our own fleet management system. In fact, our maintenance team treats ‘pay on use’ customers in exactly the same way that we treat our own budgeted maintenance vehicles – it’s all about cutting costs. “The other option is to fix your costs under a contract hire agreement, which also removes the stress and precarious costs of servicing, maintenance, repair and fast fit items.”

Travel policies The Covid-19 lockdown has made us think about travel differently. Virtual meet-ups have show they can work instead of face to face meetings, and the lack of air pollution has made us realise the extent travel impacts the planet. Now lockdown is easing, travel has not bounced back to normal. Government is asking people to avoid public transport due to potential virus spread, and embrace walking and cycling instead. But if that is not possible, the danger is that there is an increase in car use as people avoid mixing with others. So as an employer, what staff transport policies should SMEs put in place? “AA research suggests one in six UK drivers hung up their keys completely in April, while just one in 20 were driving as much as before the coronavirus lockdown. This led to improvements in air quality, as well as reductions in traffic and congestion,” says Marc Samuel. “As a result, in May, four fifths of people said they would take action to help maintain cleaner air after lockdown, suggesting opportunities for SMEs to consider how their people get around.” Marc continues: “Walking and cycling more, coupled with less driving and more homeworking, could have a significant effect on both reducing congestion and maintaining cleaner air – as well as supporting employees who are nervous about a quick return to the status quo. We may well need radical thinking in our metropolitan areas, with provision for ‘park and pedal’ at the outskirts of cities so drivers can park up and complete their journeys on two wheels or two feet. We have already seen e-scooter trials accelerated in certain urban areas.” Lee Brown points out that every business is different, and how they use their vehicles and other forms of transport will vary. He says: “Policies are very personal, however what is important is that the guidance and direction needs to come from the top of organisations and be very clear. If the policy is either unpublished or vague, staff members won’t be sure whether they should be travelling to meetings or not, coming into the office or not, or using public transport. This ambiguity will cause some people to travel and others not to and that will result in problems.” “Now is the time to make it very clear what criteria you want your employees to work to,” adds Lee. “For example, if you do not need to travel – do not. If you can work from home, do so. Do not use public transport unless it is avoidable and always comply with Government safety guidance. “It is also important to communicate your policies to your customers, to prospects, suppliers and anyone else you would have typically visited, or expected to visit you, before lockdown.” “Do not leave it up to a member of staff to decide whether they should or should not go and see a major customer. Communicate your directive from the top and explain clearly why you have made that decision,” Lee warns. Toby Poston concludes: “Aside from the back-to-work vehicle health check mentioned earlier, SMEs will also need to make sure that their transport policy is Covid-proof. They will

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

need to reassess the travel expectations they have of all staff, whether they are essential or non-essential drivers – reflecting any health issues or family circumstances. They will also need to adjust their policies to reflect the latest social distancing and sanitisation guidelines. Again, I would recommend the Driving for Better Business website as an excellent free resource.” L

Final thoughts Lee Brown Do not look at upfront costs of EVs, but look at whole life costs. EVs are more expensive at the moment and you may need to invest in workplace charging. However, if you look at their overall running cost including ‘fuel’ (energy), depreciation, maintenance and taxation/ employer’s NIC, they are often better value in the long run. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) attract zero class 1a National Insurance currently whereas the costs for equivalent combustion engine vehicles run into the thousands per vehicle each year. Toby Poston Making the shift to electric vehicles can be daunting, but the barriers to going green are rapidly disappearing, particularly for business fleets. The £3,000 Plug in Car Grant, the £350 workplace charging grant, the 0% company car tax rate and the arrival of a new generation of more affordable, longer range electric cars and vans have all helped to make an increasingly attractive total cost of ownership proposition for fleets. Marc Samuel Although zero emission cars and vans make up a relatively small proportion of vehicles on UK roads, pressure from policymakers and consumers is rising. People have enjoyed quieter streets and cleaner air in recent months, putting EV adoption firmly on the agenda. However, for SMEs to invest in EV technology, we need to see infrastructure improved; more vehicle choice and availability; and the costs must also stack up.


GreenFleet Talks

SME Fleet Operations

GreenFleet

TALKS with 0Zone’s Lee Brown

At a time when operating processes are rapidly changing and faced with increasing uncertainty, our expert panellist Lee Brown, head of Ozone and Finance Director of Interactive Fleet Management at The Grosvenor Group offers cost saving advice for SME fleets: both leased and outright owned fleets.

GF Driving e-Mobility Issue 128 | GREENFLEET MAGAZINE

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Advertisement Feature Written by Stuart Thomas, director, fleet services and accident management, the AA

Keeping fleets in top condition after lockdown Although some organisations kept their vehicles moving during the lockdown, there are others who are only gradually bringing vehicles back into operation. The AA’s Stuart Thomas shares some tips for getting back on the road While many fleets and businesses continued to work throughout lockdown, heightened safety protocols saw others down tools for all but strictly necessary works and journeys. Fleets and drivers were out on the road performing essential duties but work that fell into the non-essential category was pushed back. As a result, although some organisations kept their vehicles moving, there are others who are only gradually bringing vehicles back into operation. Changing driving habits AA research suggests one in six UK drivers hung up their keys completely in April*, while just one in 20 were driving as much as before the coronavirus lockdown. This led to improvements in air quality, as well as reductions in traffic and congestion. As a result, in May, four fifths of people said they would take action to help maintain cleaner air after lockdown**, suggesting opportunities for operators to review the make-up of their fleets. Walking and cycling more, coupled with less driving and more working from home, could have a significant effect on both reducing congestion and maintaining cleaner air. We may well need radical thinking in our metropolitan areas, with provision for ‘park and pedal’ at the outskirts of cities so drivers can park up and complete their journeys on two wheels or two feet. We have already seen e-scooter trials accelerated in certain urban areas. It could be that we see an increase in smaller journeys, prompting individuals and organisations to consider whether electric vehicles may fit their needs. A fifth of drivers

say they would buy an electric vehicle to maintain cleaner air post-lockdown**. We would also 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. Breakdown patterns Many of the callouts in the initial weeks post-lockdown echoed those seen on a wider scale. Indeed, a study of all AA jobs across the UK over the past four years highlighted batteries as the number one cause of a breakdown, followed by tyres and engine failure. This was replicated as the country started to exit lockdown, with some businesses and individuals facing challenges when getting their vans and company cars back up and running. Tips for getting back on the road How long you leave a vehicle without starting will depend on the condition of the 12-volt battery. Most modern vehicles with a healthy battery should last at least two weeks. If there is any doubt about battery condition, drivers should start vehicles once a week just to be safe. If that has not been possible during lockdown, and businesses find themselves with vehicles that will not start, the AA’s Battery Assist team is providing battery replacement appointments for members and non-members alike. Before getting back on the road, drivers should inspect tyre pressures and fluid

levels. Check nothing’s nesting under the bonnet or has chewed through pipes/ hoses. The brakes may have some corrosion, especially if the vehicle was wet when it was parked up. Drive carefully and test the brakes as soon as possible. Arrange a full service once it is running again if the vehicle has been standing for a long time. Instilling good driving practices and ensuring drivers make regular visual checks of their vehicles will help highlight any issues as soon as they arise – and allow them to be addressed proactively. Similarly, making sure drivers bring their vehicles in for routine service is vital to identifying any potential issues and taking the necessary steps to repair or replace parts which may cause a problem. Keeping essential workers moving during lockdown Many fleets found themselves redeployed during lockdown to support emergency and essential services; the AA family also played a role in keeping the country’s key workers moving. More than 7,500 NHS workers were rescued as part of a free breakdown offer, while around 200 AA personnel joined London Ambulance Service and others around the country to provide 24/7 coverage maintaining ambulance fleets, commissioning additional vehicles, and providing emergency repairs. Independent garage network, AA Prestige, maintained strong availability for essential servicing throughout lockdown, growing its nationwide network to more than 500 AA-approved garages across the UK. AA Prestige team members were on hand to support independent garages with guidance around best practice procedures in response to servicing sanitisation, vehicle handovers and safe working conditions. AA Driving Schools released free online theory test preparation, while AA DriveTech worked with the retail sector on new driver training, as well as releasing a free ‘backto‑work driving for business toolkit’. Alongside government guidance, the toolkit looked at fleet roadworthiness, vital maintenance checks, increases in traffic, vulnerable road users, and a focus on the mental health of drivers to help get everyone back on the roads safely. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.theaa.com/business

* Populus received 19,709 responses from AA members to its online poll between 14th – 20th April 2020. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. ** AA Populus survey of 18,129 drivers conducted 12-19 May 2020 *** * AA Populus Driver Poll was carried out between 9th and 16th June 2020 and had 17,162 responses.

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


JULY 2020

DRIVING THE SWITCH TO CLEANER COMMERCIAL FLEETS

NEWS

ALTERNATIVE FUELS

CARGO BIKES

INTERVIEW

BACKING ALTERNATIVE FUELS We find out about John Lewis Partnership’s target to stop using fossil fuels by 2030


Commercial Vehicle News

ELECTRIC VANS

SMR

British Gas orders 1,000 electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e van

Updated BVRLA Fair Wear & Tear Guide published

British Gas has ordered 1,000 new all-electric Vivaro-e vans from Vauxhall, which will arrive over the next 12 months and be rolled out nationwide across the British Gas engineer workforce. It is claimed to be the largest electric vehicle order for a commercial fleet in the UK. Centrica, owner of British Gas, has committed to electrifying its 12,000 strong fleet by 2030 and will be making further orders with Vauxhall for electric vehicles as soon as they are available. This may include the all-electric Combo-e – available from Summer 2021. The engineers who receive the new vans will be chosen from volunteers but also targeting areas where it is important to lower emissions and where a van already needs replacing. The British Gas engineers will install the chargers at engineer homes. The company is currently upskilling engineers in EV charging and is accelerating EV adoption for homes and businesses with

The BVRLA has updated its Fair Wear & Tear Guide for commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and minibuses up to 17 seats. The guide provides a widelyadopted industry standard that covers every aspect of a vehicle’s condition when it is returned to a lease company at the end of a contract. The association produces three guides – for cars, vans and commercial vehicles over 3.5t. This new guide for commercial vehicles over 3.5t has been updated following a review by an expert group of representatives from the BVRLA, fleet operators, auction houses, de-fleet organisations, the Road Haulage Association and the Freight Transport Association. BVRLA director of fleet services, Amanda Brandon said: “The BVRLA Fair Wear & Tear Guide forms an important part of our governance regime and it sets the industry standard

charger installs and EV tariffs. Matthew Bateman, managing director, British Gas, said “Our engineers and their vans are part of the local community they serve and it’s important we reduce the emissions of our vans so that we are contributing towards better air quality in their area and the environment. We are committed to the transition to electric vehicles which involves changing our fleet as well as helping consumers and businesses with charge points and infrastructure. “We chose to work with Vauxhall as they were able to give us a large number of high-quality and low emission vans to help us effectively serve our customers – and they will also work with us on future EV solutions. Transport is a key area where we can improve carbon emissions and is an important part of our strategy to meet our net zero targets.” READ MORE tinyurl.com/y8btzfn8

HYBRID VANS

Ford introduces automatic EV mode in PHEV Transit Custom Ford is introducing geofencing technology in its PHEV vans to automatically switch to emission-free electric mode whenever they enter predefined areas, such as congestion and low emission zones. Vehicle operators can also create custom “green zones” to encourage low-emission driving around locations such as schools, playgrounds and warehouses. When the vehicle leaves a controlled zone, it can automatically switch to the most appropriate drive mode to complete the next leg of the journey – for example, engaging the onboard EcoBoost petrol engine to generate electric power and extend the vehicle’s range. The Geofence module in the Transit PHEV records information about electric-only operation within geofenced areas. The encrypted data

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could then be securely shared with local authorities to confirm compliance with lowemission zone regulations and vehicle charging schemes. The Transit Custom PHEV has an electric range of 35 miles (NEDC), and an onboard 1.0litre EcoBoost petrol engine can charge the battery ondemand to extend their range to more than 310 miles NEDC.

READ MORE tinyurl.com/ybmg6y26

when it comes to best practice for assessing fair wear and tear on leased vehicles. “Customers who lease from a BVRLA member have the reassurance of knowing that they are doing business with a professional company which adheres to the BVRLA Code of Conduct, delivers industry best practice and offers free access to the BVRLA Alternative Dispute Resolution service. “Anybody leasing a vehicle should request a copy of the BVRLA Fair Wear & Tear Guide. It provides customers with essential advice on vehicle maintenance and upkeep to help prevent unacceptable wear and tear from occurring. It defines the industry standard for every aspect of the vehicle’s condition, so there should be no surprises when a vehicle is returned.” READ MORE tinyurl.com/uwkyufe

ELECTRIC VANS

LEVC announces details of new VN5 range-extender van LEVC has set out further details of its first electrified van VN5, which is available to order now with deliveries expected at the end of the year. Based on the same architecture and eCity range-extender technology as LEVC’s TX electric taxi, VN5 has a pure EV range of over 58 miles and a total flexible range of over 300 miles can be achieved. The new electric van delivers a ‘distribution to door’ service, combining a long range with zero emissions capability. It can be charged in 30 minutes thanks to its 50kW DC charging capability, which could be done while loading/unloading. VN5’s long 25,000-mile service intervals mean time spent off the road is further minimised. It has up to 5.5m3 capacity, VN5 cargo capacity easily accommodates two Euro sized pallets with a gross payload of 830kg. It has been built with a large side-loading door (enabling a pallet

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

to be side-loaded) and a 60/40 split door at the rear to make loading and unloading easy for the driver.​ VN5 will enter the market later this year, offering generous standard equipment, low operating costs, a comprehensive warranty and strong residual values. Three VN5 variants are available – Business, City and Ultima - with a high level of standard equipment and always with the demands of the user in mind. All VN5 models feature 50kW DC rapid charging and minimum 11kW AC fast charging capability. The flagship Ultima features 22kW AC charging capability as standard. In addition, LEVC has worked with a number of Europe’s leading convertors to ensure the VN5 can be equipped with racking, roof racks, light bars and other bespoke modifications required by customers in this sector.

READ MORE tinyurl.com/y7f2f5jh


Royal Mail to trial prototype of LEVC’s new electric van Royal Mail will trial a prototype of LEVC’s electric van, the VN5, for use in real-world testing. The prototype is a van conversion of LEVC’s TX Taxi and will be used by organisations ahead of official VN5 launch later this year. 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. ​ The eCity technology meets the demanding duty cycles of various different sectors, and, for logistics businesses such as Royal Mail, VN5 has been designed to provide ‘distribution to door’ – not just last mile – capability, creating a link between out of town depots and city centres. ​ ​Paul Gatti, fleet director at Royal Mail said: ​“As a Company,

we are committed to making changes to our operations that reduce our environmental impact, whilst ensuring we continue to meet customer expectations. Alongside the introduction of electric vans in locations across our business, this trial is part of a programme of initiatives that allow us to experiment with ways to achieve this, whilst enabling us to continue to deliver letters and parcels safely, efficiently and responsibly.”​ LEVC’s trial phase will take place over the next few months and prototypes will be trialled with a wide range of businesses, from tool & equipment hire to energy suppliers. These companies have been specifically chosen to put the vehicle through a variety of different use cases. READ MORE tinyurl.com/yax9mf7h

ELECTRIC VANS

Renault offers conversions of Master Z.E. for increased choice Renault is now offering conversions of its Master Z.E., with the choice of panel van, platform cab and chassis cab. They are offered with three lengths (L1, L2, L3), two heights (H1, H2) and a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 3.1 or 3.5 tons, allowing up to 1,700kg of payload (before conversion). The complete Master Z.E. range offers a WLTP range of 75 miles and full recharge in six hours from a 7kW Wallbox or public charging point. The new chassis cab version is available with a maximum payload of 1,620 kg before conversion. The Master Z.E. chassis cab allows for a whole host of conversions including Tipper, Dropside and Luton Box Van. For example, a Master Z.E. equipped with a 20 m3 large volume box and a tail lift guarantees 1,000 kg of payload. Two platform cab versions are now available with a payload up to 1,740 kg. This increased payload allows for

larger conversions, including the possibility of a Luton LowLoader of up to 20 m3, with the advantage of a low loading sill. The four practical panel van versions available, with volumes between 9 and 13 m3, now offer up to 1,490 kg of payload. This increased payload makes it possible to transport heavier equipment or even to convert into a minibus. They are available to order from October 2020.

FTA’s Natalie Chapman LERS searches for its new environmental superstar Natalie Chapman, head of urban policy, FTA

Commercial Vehicle News

ELECTRIC VANS

FTA’s Logistics Emissions Reduction Scheme (LERS) has now opened entries to its Leadership in Emissions Reduction Award 2020. Sponsored by ExxonMobil, the award recognises and celebrates the logistics company most committed to reducing its emissions and leading the way in environmental excellence over the past 12 months. While all members of the scheme have shown real dedication to the cause – average member emissions are close to 13% lower per vehicle compared to industry as a whole – at LERS, we are keen to discover a standout environmental superstar who can inspire and lead others on their journey to decarbonisation. In the 2019 awards, we celebrated two LERS members that had registered truly outstanding performances in emissions reductions: Sainsbury’s and the John Lewis Partnership, awarding them with the Leadership in Fleet Efficiency Award and Excellence in Innovation Award respectively. Sainsbury’s was chosen for utilising a wide range of fuel efficiency measures to reduce its emissions; this strategy led to an impressive 19% saving in carbon emissions. Measures introduced in their scheme included employing the latest in aerodynamic technology, installing solar panels on rigids and trailers to provide a green alternative to running ancillary equipment and implementing fuel efficient tyres across its entire fleet; these are monitored regularly to achieve maximum efficiency. Joint winner, the John Lewis Partnership was recognised for its pledge to transition its heavy-duty vehicle fleet to biomethane by 2028; these trucks emit more than 80% less carbon dioxide than a standard diesel alternative. And, with its ambition to establish and run a zero-carbon fleet by 2045, the judges felt the company has a robust decarbonisation strategy, with a real desire to lead the way to a greener future. Its efforts are aligned with both the objectives of LERS and the government’s voluntary industry target on emission reduction. If you think your company could be our next winner, please visit lers.org.uk/home/lers-awards for more information and to enter. The award is open to all members of LERS, a free-to join initiative to record, report and reduce carbon emissions from freight transport, administered by FTA. The closing date for entries is 21 August 2020. Freight Transport Association (FTA), is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. FTA supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.

FURTHER INFORMATION READ MORE tinyurl.com/y765mnqn

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.

July 2020 | COMMERCIAL GREENFLEET

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Interview

A company backing alternative fuels As well as building a dedicated biomethane gas filling station at its head office in Bracknell this year, the John Lewis Partnership has a target to stop using fossil fuels across its entire 4,800 fleet by 2030. Justin Laney, the company’s general manager of central transport, talks through the plans

John Lewis Partnership has been using biomethane since 2015. What makes this fuel suitable for your objectives? Transport contributes over 25 per cent to the John Lewis Partnership’s operational carbon emissions and that’s why we established an industry leading aim to have a zero carbon transport fleet by 2045. Biomethane forms an important part of our transport carbon reduction. And because long distance, heavy trucks form about 15 per cent of our fleet and are accounting for 70 per cent of our emissions, these vehicles were our priority and are the hardest to tackle. We’ve been working with alternative fuels for over a decade. Back in 2011 we worked with Imperial College Biofuels Department - a leader in this field – to assess a broad range of biofuels,

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time being as it’s 100 per cent renewable looking for the best combination of true and is made from food waste and food sustainability, sufficient scale to make a processing waste materials rather than real difference, and potential to deliver a diesel, each vehicle reduces CO2 emissions credible business case vs diesel. Biomethane by 80 per cent, with each truck saving created from the right waste materials over 100 tonnes of CO2 every year. These was identified as the optimum solution. gas trucks are also quieter, decreasing To achieve a zero net carbon fleet we noise pollution, which is especially need to transition to a fully electric heavy important when we do urban deliveries. vehicle fleet but current technology and infrastructure does not support this so we Tell us about the biomethane have invested in biomethane – a low-carbon gas filling station you are alternative to diesel – for the past eight having built at your head office years and have been one of the pioneers Our new biomethane gas filling station in the UK. Our commitment to it is so will be built in conjunction with strong that by 2028 all 600 of our Air Liquide and will open at heavy goods vehicles for John Althoug the Waitrose head office in Lewis and Waitrose will be Bracknell in December switched to biomethane. biometh h 2020, making it our Although biomethane isn’t net ane first on-site gas filling isn’t net zero, it is the z e r o , the bes station. It will facilitate best alternative for the t alternait is for the the conversion of t iv e t im e 120 Waitrose heavy b eing as it’s 10 goods vehicles to 0 p e r cent renewa biomethane and b le a n complement gas filling d is made fr om f stations already in use near to John Lewis and waste ood Waitrose regional distribution centres in Leyland, Lancashire, and in Northampton.

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


Interview

The station will be funded, built and managed by Air Liquide and we have a seven year contract to draw fuel from the site. How much carbon have you saved since using biomethane? To date, about 17,000 tonnes of carbon have been saved and when all the heavy trucks are running on biomethane in 2028, we’ll be saving around 60,000 tonnes per year. For the new gas filling station we are building in Bracknell, over the next seven years, this site alone will save over 70,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the carbon footprint produced by over 13,000 UK households. The John Lewis Partnership has revealed an ambition to stop using fossil fuels across its entire 4,800 fleet by 2030. What does that mean for its vans and cars? We want to reduce carbon emissions across our entire transport network further and the Partnership’s ambition is to eliminate fossil fuels from its commercial vehicle and car fleet by 2030. This radical initiative would see 1,750 electric vans and light trucks introduced and approximately 750 refrigerated trailers converted from diesel to electric drive. In addition, the Partnership’s 1,300 strong car fleet would become 100 per cent electric and any remaining vehicles that could not be converted to biomethane or electric will use hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) biodiesel.

We want to reduce carbon emissions across our entire transport network further and the Partnership’s ambition is to eliminate fossil fuels from its commercial vehicle and car fleet by 2030 of alternative fuels early, so you have maximum experience before rolling out. Engage with the many bodies out there who can help with advice such as the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, Centre for Sustainable Road Freight and the FTA. I’d also point out that infrastructure is more difficult than vehicles, but it

is essential for it to be in place before vehicles are delivered. Make sure you have redundancy built in and mitigations for failures or late commissioning. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk

Justin Laney, general manager of central transport, John Lewis Partnership

What advice would you give to other businesses looking to green their operations? My advice would be to focus on efficiency initially, reducing the energy needs of your operation by reducing miles driven and improving MPGs. Start trials

July 2020 | COMMERCIAL GREENFLEET

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


Alternative Fuels

The realities of running on gas power

“It’s been frustrating that our operating cycles have been disrupted for three out of six-months with the trucks, so we are still yet to accurately compare operating costs with our diesel trucks, although early signs are promising,” he added. IVECO and supplying dealer Haynes Trucks in Maidstone delivered initial education workshops to ensure drivers were thoroughly trained and knowledgeable about the natural gas technology powering their new fleet. This Six months on from taking delivery of ten IVECO Stralis Natural included how to refuel safely and how to get Power trucks, Nicholls Transport is enjoying strong driver the best performance from their vehicles. Drivers have quickly become accustomed to the trucks, acceptance and is finding urban deliveries and motorway with the most often heard feedback being trunking routes are the sweet spot for gas power ‘how quiet they are compared with diesel’, particularly on longer motorway journeys. Nicholls’ on-site refuelling station set up in Nicholls Transport’s fleet of ten IVECO Stralis Adapting to gas-power partnership with GasRec has been busy fuelling NP trucks, powered by Liquified Natural Gas Half of the gas-powered fleet is away from its own fleet as well as receiving (LNG), have worked throughout the Covidbase all week with the drivers regular visits from other UK and 19 pandemic, transporting everything from quickly adjusting to the European hauliers to fill up with paper and timber to food, bulk recycling national LNG refuelling Drivers gas as they travel through and building supplies across the UK. network and planning have be c o Kent. Although it has been Darren Sherlock, finance director of their routes accordingly. m e accusto shut to external operators Nicholls Transport sees a bright future Sherlock is keen to m e d the truc t o during the Covid-19 for operators using gas trucks to deliver see the number of k pandemic, Nicholls long goods into large urban areas and when depots offering gas most o s, with the ften he term aspiration is to scale operating on longer trunking routes. continue to grow ard feedba up its refuelling forecourt “We carry out regular deliveries of to further improve c k being how qu to increase its capacity as plasterboard from a local manufacturer in Kent the operating ie more fleets switch to gas. to construction sites in central London. We can efficiencies of running compar t they are “The IVECO and GasRec travel into the heart of the city without being an LNG fleet. ed with partnership has been very penalised and with a clear emissions conscience. “The network needs diesel strong, and they have both “As more low emission zones are to keep improving, we helped and supported us across all launched in our cities so gas will become do occasionally run slightly aspects of buying and running gas trucks. key for operators to carry out work for their off-piste in some areas of the “We maintain our view that gas is the only customers. Our trucks are also quieter than country to ensure we can refuel. My drivers alternative fuel to diesel suitable for operation at diesels which means we can make deliveries can cover a 300-mile round trip from our 44-tonnes and with more operating restrictions without compromising local noise levels. Sittingbourne base without having to being introduced for diesel trucks then gas will “Half of our Stralis NPs work predominantly fill up, but we do encourage drivers not be the fuel of choice for many more operators on trunking routes and they are performing to risk running out of gas,” he said. during the coming years,” said Sherlock. L very well. The level of driver comfort is Nicholls is yet to get an early indication good and complemented by the lower of Stralis NP running costs compared with in-cab noise levels. The gas power is very his 110-strong diesel IVECO fleet due to FURTHER INFORMATION efficient when working for long periods operating cycles being disrupted by Covidwww.nicholls-uk.co.uk at motorway speeds,” he added. 19 and December factory shutdowns.

July 2020 | COMMERCIAL GREENFLEET

31


Cargo Bikes

The way forward for last mile cycle logistics A report from the Cross River Partnership explains how local authorities can support the uptake of cycle logistics to spur on a green recovery in cities as they emerge from lockdown Cargo bike deliveries have occurred for well-over 100 years, and recent growth has led to a wider variety of cycle logistics activity across central London. However, there is no wholesale adoption of cargo bikes for last mile deliveries and take up seems to be lower in the UK than other countries (notably the Netherlands and Denmark). This difference can be partly accounted for by the difference in national and city policy, but the much broader provision of cycle lanes and greater acceptance of cycling across the general population would also seem to be critical. Logistics complexities also help to explain the low take up, including the historical decline in the availability of land for logistics facilities in London. It is also necessary to recognise that delivering goods requires a combination of vehicles; HGVs and vans have more capacity and are more robust than cargo bikes, and that helps to lower the costs of deliveries. Post NL in the Netherlands has identified that, while cargo bikes are appropriate and useful for very dense inner city delivery, larger, zero emission vehicles are required to move higher volumes, simply due to cost reasons. A French review of global cities in May 2019 listed three essential elements needed

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to enable economic cycle logistics: the provision of nearby spaces to reduce the distance between the starting point and the delivery location; a fairly dense area for deliveries, with small or medium-sized packages if possible; and the ease of movement around public roads and spaces. The Covid-19 pandemic may change what we buy and where those goods come from. There could be a trend to more local sourcing or an acceleration towards more home delivery by vans, especially from supermarkets or restaurants. Some cargo bike operators are working with local groups to provide local assistance and may build a larger customer-base as a result, while others have closed down their operations entirely. History suggests that pricing and product choice may remain the key customer issues in the long term. While we cannot be sure of what will change and how, we know that decarbonisation of our supply chains still needs to occur and London’s air quality must improve rapidly. Last mile innovations As well as recommending a coordination and integration of transport and land use

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

policies to achieve maximum change, Cross River Partnership is keen to support the roll out of last mile trials in London. One such trial could look at the use of cargo bikes for servicing activity. Cargo bikes can carry approximately half the volume of a van. A high proportion of freight activity in Central London is servicing vehicles, from maintenance engineers to florists replacing hotel displays, and many could be replaced with cargo bikes. Any trial would require engagement with both servicing and facilities management companies to identify suitable trial locations and activity. The involvement of recognised sector leaders would be ideal to generate maximum publicity. Another trial could look at exchange/’kissing points’ for cargo bikes and/or porters. The Freight Traffic Control 2050 project and the Goulborn Street Hub in Sydney demonstrate the potential for the exchange of product, a so-called ’kissing point’. This is sometimes called micro-consolidation by mistake, as it is moving goods from a larger vehicle to a number of smaller ones (or porters) and is effectively ‘un-consolidation’. Any trial would require engagement with operators and property experts to identify suitable trial locations and activity. The involvement of recognised sector leaders would be ideal to generate maximum publicity. A ‘white label’ trial could also be held. The principle of a ‘white label’ trial is for all deliveries into a specific area to be made by one freight operator. The City of London has recently imposed planning conditions requiring consolidation for new, large-scale, developments. This is a version of a ‘white label’ delivery, as the majority of goods will only be delivered to the building by one operator. Extending this approach to a group of premises or street has not yet occurred. Legal advice would be necessary, as challenge from operators would be expected concerning competition implications. Involvement of a land owner or developer would be required, and an extended project planning phase should be anticipated. A green recovery The above initiatives support the ambitions of the post-lockdown recovery to be clean and green not just for personal transport, but also for the delivery and servicing activity that London will continue to depend on. Tom Linton-Smith, project manager at Cross River Partnership, said: “Cross River Partnership has a proud history of supporting low and zero-tailpipe emission freight transport solutions. Cargo bikes are part of the clean transport mix that is required to keep the city moving, building resilience as we deal with the challenges of economic recovery, congestion, air pollution and the climate emergency. In this report we have exposed the challenges and suggested opportunities to work together in new ways to increase their use in London and other cities through knowledge sharing and collaboration.” L FURTHER INFORMATION Read the report here


July 2020 | COMMERCIAL GREENFLEET

33


Road Test Written by Richard Gooding

Toyota Proace City Icon SWB A new entrant into the compact light commercial sector, the Proace City brings a new size of vehicle to Toyota’s acclaimed CV nameplate. Richard Gooding discovers that its ease of use and practical nature should win it many friends What is it? If the Toyota Proace City looks familiar, there’s a good reason. The Japanese manufacturer has collaborated with the PSA Group since 2013 on commercial vehicles and the Proace City is a member of the Citroën Berlingo/Peugeot Partner/Vauxhall Combo compact light van family. The larger Proace (GreenFleet 112) adopts a similar relationship and counts the Citroën Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Vauxhall Vivaro as siblings. The Proace City made its world debut at the 2019 Commercial Vehicle Show in the UK, with sales beginning in early 2020. How practical is it? The new Toyota Proace City comes in a choice of two lengths: 4,403mm ‘Short’ and 4,753mm ‘Long’. The Short van as tested here has a wheelbase of 2,785mm and a load floor length of 1,817mm, the Long version coming in with 2,975mm and 2,167mm respective measurements. The clever Smart Cargo load-through hatch (a £715 option on entry-level Active models) increases this to 3,090 and 3,440mm respectively and both vans share a 1,200mm maximum load height. Both Short and Long vans can easily accommodate a pair of Europallets. Load volume is 3.3m3 on the Proace City Short, and 3.9m3 on the longer wheelbase model. In both cases, this is increased by 0.5m3 if Smart Cargo is specified. There’s 1,527mm of load width and the twin sliding doors offer 675mm of width and 1,072mm of height. Moving to the back, the rear doors have a maximum aperture width of 1,241mm, 1,196mm of height, and open to 180 degrees.

34

Only available with one load height, the Proace City can swallow loads up to 1,200mm tall and maximum payloads of between 650-1,000kg depending on engine. How clean is it? The Proace City is available with a choice of 1.5-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engines, in either 74 or 99bhp outputs. The smaller output engine can only be specified as a short wheelbase model, and has CO2 emissions of 145g/km. The more powerful unit tested here emits between 148-160g/ km of CO2 and both engines are married to five-speed manual gearboxes. Toyota quotes official WLTP-certified fuel economy figures of 49.56-51.36mpg for the 74bhp engine, and 46.31-50.44mpg for the 99bhp unit. In ‘real-world’ driving conditions, our Icon Short 99bhp test van averaged 48.3mpg.

Inside, as with the Vauxhall Combo Cargo we tested in GreenFleet 126, the cabin also has a distinctly French flavour, but once again, that’s no disadvantage. The flowing dashboard has storage aplenty with up to 16 different repositories dotted around the cabin, from a small coin holder, to dash-top cup holders and a 15-litre space in the centre console. Top-trim Icon vans have an electric parking brake which frees up passenger legroom, too, providing even more space. They also receive an eight-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system as standard, which is very similar to those found in cars, lending the Proace City a car-like usability. The brace of PSA Group and Toyota-developed vans use the same part-car-derived platform. The rear of the chassis is taken from the previous generations of the Berlingo and Partner, with the front using parts from the PSA Group’s ‘EMP2’ car platform. Shared with the Peugeot 308, 3008 and 5008 among others, the handling and ride are more car-like than ever before. Able to zip in and out of traffic easily and safely, the Proace City has good manoeuvrability and is more comfortable than a van may be expected to be. The power steering makes light work of tighter spots, and a rear view camera, and front and rear parking sensors (standard on Icon, optional on entrylevel Active models), are boons to practicality. Staying with practicality, it’s worth noting that

The City Proace world s made it the 2019 t debut a rcial Vehicle e Comm , with sales Show ning in begin 020 early 2

How does it drive? While there’s no denying the external resemblance to its French and British siblings, it does the Proace City no harm, and the chiselled yet softened look suits it well. However, at the time of writing, and unlike its PSA Group siblings, it would appear that neither colour-coded bumpers or alloy wheels can be specified should you want to smarten up the Proace City’s appearance further. Metallic paint can be chosen, though, for £545 extra.

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


Road Test

Electrifying Toyota Commercials

In addition to alreadyannounced all-electric versions of the Citroën Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Vauxhall Vivaro vans, the Toyota Proace will also be available in selected markets from October 2020 with a zeroemission powertrain. However, UK availability is still to be confirmed. all Proace City models have three cargo lights and a solid panel-style bulkhead. The 99bhp, 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine of our test van had good tractability, although at times the gearbox needed to be stirred to make quicker progress from low revs. There’s 184lb ft (250Nm) of torque, though, produced from 1,750rpm, which is more than enough for most instances. Engine noise is well suppressed on the move, with wind and road disturbances equally kept to a refined minimum. Testing was conducted with an empty cargo space, trimmed here with plywood, a £389 option. What does it cost? As with the engine choices, Toyota has kept the trim levels simple with the Proace City. The £18,390.83 (OTR, excluding VAT) Active Short kicks things off, and includes 15-inch steel wheels, automatic lights, electric windows, central locking, a four-speaker DAB audio system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, roof rails, and a stop-start system. A host of safety kit comes as standard, which includes hill assist and stability control systems. A 99bhp Active model is also available. Moving up to Icon brings niceties such as 16-inch steel wheels, auto wipers, cruise control, driver’s seat height adjustment, front fog lights, power-folding door mirrors, steering wheel audio controls, and an eight-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The 74bhp Icon Short is priced from £20,390.83, with our mid-range 99bhp version pegged at £21,015.83. The only long-wheelbase version, the Icon Long, is £21,640.83 and is powered by the 99bhp engine. Icon specification counts the flexible Smart Cargo load-through system (including a two-seat passenger bench) among its extra practical features. Toyota’s comprehensive Toyota Safety Sense system as seen on its passenger car range can also be added to its Icon models of its smallest light commercial, priced from £675. For taxation purposes, the standard annual commercial VED rate of £265 applies to all Toyota Proace City models.

Why does my fleet need one? As with its PSA Group stablemates, the Toyota Proace City offers slightly more load capacity than a Ford Transit Connect or Volkswagen Caddy, and has enjoyable and easy driving manners. Based on well-proven, awardwinning components, the Proace City has the best of starts. The similarity to its siblings is perhaps hard to ignore, but that translates into well considered practicality and efficiency. A practical and likable performer, the Proace City’s enhanced warranty over its PSA relatives may swing the buying decision in its favour. Toyota offers its generous five-year/100,000mile manufacturer’s warranty as standard on all versions of the Proace City, and added to its 25,000-mile/two-year maintenance schedules, signifies that the small Japanese van really is ready for business. L

A choice of 50kWh or 75kWh batteries enable ranges of up to 142 and 205 miles respectively, and because the battery pack is mounted under the floor, the midsized Proace’s load capacity of 1,000-1,275kg is the same as its diesel-engined siblings. Three-phase 11kW on-board charging is standard, and the Proace EV can also be refilled at fast charging DC stations with 100kW units. The Toyota Proace Electric starts at €35,995 excluding VAT in the Netherlands. Toyota has also stated that an all-electric version of the Proace City will be introduced in 2021.

FURTHER INFORMATION www.toyota.co.uk

Toyota Proace City icon SWB GROSS PAYLOAD: LOAD VOLUME: ENGINE: CO2:

1,000kg 3.3m3 1,499cc fourcylinder turbodiesel 151g/km*

MPG: 46.31-50.44* GF MPG:

48.3r

VED:

£265

PRICE (OTR**, ex VAT): £21,015.83 (£22,525.83 as tested) * WLTP combined **OTR price includes number plates and delivery to retailer, 12 months’ Vehicle Excise Duty and new vehicle first registration fee.

July 2020 | COMMERCIAL GREENFLEET

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VEHICLE LEASING

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

EV RECHARGING

Europcar Mobility Group UK

Bradshaw Electric Vehicles

Rigfone Electrics

Tel: 0371 384 0140 Email: businesssolutions@europcar.com Website: europcar-mobility-group.com

Tel: +44 (0)1780 782621 Email: enquiries@bradshawev.com Website: www.bradshawev.com

Email: enquiries@rigfone.co.uk Tel: 023 8021 5100 Fax: 023 8021 5101

Europcar Mobility Group UK is helping public and private sector organisations reduce emissions through a total mobility offering, from ultra-short-term car use by the hour through Ubeeqo and E-Car; traditional daily rental from Europcar; long-term rental of brand new vehicles with Europcar Advantage; and ride hailing and chauffeur services from Brunel.

Bradshaw is a leading manufacturer of electric vehicles for industry and distributor for Goupil, all-electric, light commercial, zero-emission vehicles. Homologated for road use the Goupil range is suited to low emission zones, towns and cities. With 11 body configurations, the vehicles are designed for last mile delivery and service operations.

Rigfone Electrics is an OLEV approved EV Installation Contractor offering innovative cost effective installation solutions across the South of the UK. Established in 1963 we have built a strong reputation for both reliability and quality with our clients in industry, commerce and public sector. We offer tailor made best value solutions for all your EV charge point requirements.

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Qerb Electric Vehicle Charging Go Plant Fleet Services

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Tel: 01244 833790 Email: sales@rhinoproducts.co.uk Website: www.rhinoproducts.co.uk

With more than 40 years industry experience and expertise, Go Plant Fleet Services is the UK’s leading provider of fleet management solutions, contract and operated hire solutions and service and maintenance packages. They work in partnership with local authorities, contractors and many large private sector Companies.

We are Europe’s leading van accessory manufacturer, supplying an innovative range of Roof Racks, Roof Bars, Steps, Ladder Restraints & more for the commercial vehicle market. Our products are made in the UK to the highest of standards, ensuring the utmost in performance, durability and aesthetics.

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ADVERTISERS INDEX The publishers accept no responsibility for errors or omissions in this free service Grosvenor 20-23

Mr Electric Tel: 0800 7311 606 Email: enquiries@mrelectric.com Website: www.mr-electric.co.uk

Rhino Products

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Rolec Services

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The AA Mr. Electric is the UK’s leading electrical franchise brand. Approved OLEV installer, trusted electrical experts. A proven track record of being reliable with over 17 years of experience in electrical installation and maintenance. National coverage allows us to take care of EV Charge Point installation and maintenance across the UK.

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Totalkare Heavy

20-22,24 12,30

Volvo 6

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