If you are a regular reader of our blog posts you may remember a recent posting where we considered the role of diesel fuel within our industry. With that in mind, we thought it was only fair to now consider the implications of electrical vehicles and whether this is something that could be adopted within the courier industry.
Everyone is aware of the emergence of electric vehicles – you only need to look at any car advert which is actively trying to persuade more and more of us to buy the electric variety. There is no doubt that the benefits of using an electric vehicle over traditional combustion engines will always win hands down. Firstly though, it is important to draw a distinction between say, electric cars which are used mainly for personal use, and electric vans or other forms of commercial vehicle.
What stops electric commercial vehicles in reality?
Currently, one of the biggest problems is down to charging points. Whilst these have expanded in recent years there is still far too few of them. A way of getting around this may be for commercial companies to have their own charging points installed at their premises or station, but this is actually quite an expensive venture. Whilst it will pay for itself in the long run in terms of sustainability, it does attract a big hit initially in terms of money – money which is tight already because of the current situation. The fact is that many large companies (including courier ones,) are not willing to take a leap of faith into this kind of investment just yet.
Another problem with the idea of using electric vehicles commercially for roles such as courier delivery is down the relatively small range of coverage that exists currently. Imagine having a European delivery job – a service which we offer. This obviously involves a long distance – this would not be ideal. Electric vehicles do not last as long as petrol or diesel before the energy supply needs to be replenished (in this case, charged back up.) In an industry like ours where drivers can literally be travelling hundreds of miles, having to stop and recharge so soon can be very inconvenient. Some might argue that petrol and diesel doesn’t last forever on a long journey and would need to be replenished eventually too. This would then go back to the first point however – there are abundant petrol stations throughout the country which is quite different to electric charging points.
The use of electric vehicles commercially is something every business will have to think about, and sooner rather than later. All soundings point to the ban of petrol and diesel vehicles at some point in the medium term so this will have to be addressed anyway. This gives time for science and infrastructure to advance further and sort out the problems with the mileage range and access to charging points.
We think that when the courier industry does transfer to electric vehicles, they will actually get rewarded for doing so, because they will be able to advance the idea that they are putting the environment and sustainability first. This will likely result in a positive business impact which will benefit all either directly or indirectly.
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