Nearly 20 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved every year if the UK’s van fleet was converted into fully electric vans, according to new research by Vauxhall.
The research comes after the UK Government launched a consultation that could see manufacturers issued with yearly zero-emissions vehicle percentage sales targets, including financial penalties for those that fail to meet the targets.
As part of its commitment to electrify Britain, Vauxhall calculated how much CO2 could be saved every year if the country’s van fleet converted into electric Light Commercial Vehicles (e-LCVs) that produce zero tailpipe emissions. Using official UK Government and Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures, Vauxhall calculated vans account for 18.2% of the UK’s annual transport-related CO2 emissions and 4.6% of the country’s total annual carbon emissions*.
With 4.77 million petrol or diesel vans on the road, and with an average annual mileage of 13,000 according to the Department for Transport, van drivers in the UK cover more than 62 billion miles annually. Using the SMMT’s average new van emissions estimate of 195.7 g/km CO2 as the fleet average emissions, Vauxhall calculated annual emissions exceeding 19.5 million tonnes of CO2**.
Last year, more than 16,000 electric LCVs were delivered to businesses and customers across the country, a rise of 31.2% over the previous year. As one of few manufacturers in the country to offer fleets and businesses a fully electric van across its line-up, Vauxhall was the UK’s best-selling e-LCV manufacturer in 2022, with the Vivaro Electric the best-selling e-LCV model in the country.
However, e-LCVs accounted for just 5.9% of total van registrations in 2022, well behind the 16.6% 2022 market share for electric cars, and quite far off the 10% proposed mandate for 2024 for e-LCV sales***. As well as zero tailpipe emissions, electric vans offer businesses a number of benefits, including exemption from current congestion and emissions zone charges.
With a goal of becoming an electric-only brand by 2028 – seven years ahead of the UK Government deadline – Vauxhall is committed to electrifying the nation, with the brand’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing site also undergoing a £100m renovation to become the first Stellantis plant to produce solely battery-electric models. One of the first models to be produced will be the Combo Electric compact van, which sits alongside the Vivaro Electric and Movano Electric in Vauxhall’s e-LCV line-up.
James Taylor, Managing Director, Vauxhall, said: “Vauxhall is fully committed to electrification, and remains one of few manufacturers in the UK already able to offer fleets a zero-emissions-in-use vehicle across its entire LCV range. Our research highlights the importance in electrifying the country’s businesses to help meet the UK’s Net Zero targets, and comes at a time when the UK is considering imposing further measures to increase electric vehicle uptake.”
Table: Provisional UK greenhouse gas emissions national statistics, 2021 finds Transport Related Emissions in 2021 were 107.5 million tonnes equivalent of CO2. The UK’s total carbon emissions account to 424.5 million tonnes.
** For the research, Vauxhall used both official Government and SMMT figures. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, in 2021 there were 4,804,833 vans on UK roads, of which 26,990 were either electric or electrified, leaving 4,777,843 petrol and diesel vans for 2021.
Using the average SMMT new van emissions of 195.7 g/km CO2 for 2022, and the Department for Transport 2021 estimate of 13,000 miles as the annual van mileage, Vauxhall estimated the country’s van fleet covers more than 62 billion miles a year, accounting for more than 19.5 million tonnes of CO2.