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Plugged-in fleets to save 75% on fuel costs, says report

The findings are the result of the trust’s recently completed Plugged-in Fleets, run in partnership with Route Monkey and EDF Energy, and funded by Transport for London and the Department for Transport. This studied how plug-in vehicles could be deployed on the fleets of 20 UK companies, with participants including Boots UK, the London Fire Brigade, Network Rail and Morrisons.

Each was given advice and a strategic plan to find where the technology would offer the biggest savings, and data was analysed by the Energy Saving Trust. The results showed a high proportion of the journeys covered were regular and predictable, and for vehicles with routes of under 100 miles it would be possible to make the switch to a pure-electric alternative.

Some were also able to boost the range by topping up during the day, and in some cases the results proved participants could replace their entire fleet with electric models.

Companies were also given advice on charging point subsidies and optimising their routes to suit electric cars and vans. Analysis showed the greatest savings were available to those with the longest vehicle lifespans, while company car drivers could save up to £951 per year moving from an efficient diesel to a plug-in hybrid such as the Vauxhall Ampera.

Among the attendees at today’s presentation was Norman Baker MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, who announced an additional £280,000 funding from the coalition government to help 100 further fleets see where ultra-low carbon vehicles can work for them.

‘Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are an essential part of low-carbon transport. With increasing numbers of models coming to market, and the low running costs that they offer, they will be ever more attractive to companies,’ he said.

‘Today’s report from EST gives fleet managers valuable insight into how different vehicles can be used effectively and could lead to increased uptake of low emission vehicles across British fleets.’

Caroline Watson, from Energy Saving Trust, added: ‘We know that more organisations than ever are looking at electric vehicles as a long term investment for their business fleets. But investing in an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle requires careful guidance as upfront costs are high. Life costs are positive so the switch is worth making. That’s why we offer a tailor-made approach as each organisation has different needs for their fleet.’

Alex Grant

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