Emergency services & NHS trusts could save by switching to an electric fleet

Published on Thursday, 03 January 2013 10:20
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

Emergency Services and NHS Trusts could cut the running costs of their fleets by an average of 1.8% (£271,000) and reduce CO2 emission by an average of 5.6% (539 tonnes) each year by replacing just 10% of their current vehicles with electric models. 

The potential savings were identified in a British Gas study, conducted by TRL, the UK's Transport Research Laboratory. For emergency services and NHS trusts prepared to go further, the analyses reveals that a 50% conversion to electric vehicles would result in an average annual saving of £1,355,000. These findings are particularly relevant when as the NHS is under pressure to make £20bn efficiency savings by 2015.

The top five sectors benefiting from EV conversion, according to a combination of percentage cost and CO2 savings, are:

  1. Financial Services
  2. Emergency Services/NHS Trust
  3. Service industries (inc. IT/ Leisure/Media)
  4. Heavy industries
  5. Architecture /Construction


Colin Marriott, Fleet General Manager at British Gas, said:

"This report shows that businesses, under pressure to reduce both costs and carbon emissions, cannot afford to ignore the benefits of electric vehicles. Electric vehicles offer us so many benefits as a business that we're introducing them into our own fleet and aim to have 1,400 by 2015 as part of our drive to reduce fleet carbon emissions by 25%."

The report concluded that financial and carbon savings will vary depending on the specific characteristics of a fleet, such as annual mileage, vehicle duty cycle, types of vehicles used and the price of fuel and electricity. It found that electric vehicles save money in a number of ways:

  • Running costs – electricity is cheaper on a per-mile basis than petrol
  • Servicing costs – pure electric vehicles (not plug-in hybrids) have fewer moving parts, meaning that they need less frequent servicing

As well as these factors, the report highlights that fleets can currently take advantage of reduced taxes, as electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids pay less company car tax than petrol cars, as well as paying lower Vehicle Excise Duty and no London congestion charge. Additionally, if finds that there are also a number of government schemes that lower costs for electric vehicles at present, inducing Government's Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC).

The report also found that the most suitable conditions for pure EVs include low urban mileage, minimal or reducing load profile, and a frequent return to base or other charging facilities for a relatively long stop.

British Gas plans to convert 10% of its 14,000 light commercial vehicle (LCV) fleet to electric vehicles over the next three years, with the current trial of Nissan's eNV200 electric van paving the way.

Source: ©British Gas

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