Earlier this year we made the decision to really try to cut our carbon footprint as a business. Using a Carbon Footprint calculator tool provided at https://www.carbontrust.com/resources/sme-carbon-footprint-calculator we were able to see that by far the biggest impact we were having on the environment was as a result of our diesel works van, contributing a staggering 17 tons of CO2 emissions over the past 4 years, in the 50,000 miles we had covered. Our van is an absolute essential for our business, so being without one was not an option.
We were due to change our van, so began looking into whether it was a possibility to get a suitably sized electric van with an adequate range for the journeys we regularly do. We discovered that the recently launched Peugeot eExpert or Citroen eDispatch (same van under different badges) offered a 75kWh battery option with a claimed range of 205 miles. Looking at the distances to marinas that we most frequently visit, we decided that this should be adequate for our needs. I then investigated the financing of the van – knowing that electric vans are far more expensive than their diesel counterparts. I worked out that accounting for the government grant for buying the vehicle, the enhanced capital allowances available for the purchase, the low interest rates available, the savings made in fuel costs, road tax and servicing costs – not to mention the environmental benefits – it was a no-brainer!
Six months on and we haven’t looked back – our van is a delight to drive (particularly when others were queuing to buy diesel on the forecourts) and easy to charge at the charging point we installed at our workshop. In the nearly 8,000 miles we have covered so far, we have only really had one episode of “range anxiety” which was a result of charging location issues – the Government has a long way to go to get the charging network up to where it needs to be if more people convert to electric vehicles. The other thing to bear in mind about driving an electric vehicle, which is the same as driving an electric narrowboat – the more sensibly you drive, the more range you get. Rob holds the record for getting just over 210 miles on one charge – even better than the manufacturer claims! It certainly has made both Rob and me slow down on the roads considerably, which is proving a far less stressful and safer way to travel!