RAP – Electric delivery vans are cheaper to own than diesels

International energy NGO, the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) has released research that electric delivery vans cost the same to run as diesel vans even now. The Total Cost of Ownership is set to fall in the next eight years to the point that diesels will be a costly anachronism.

The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis by RAP looked at the capital cost of the vans, maintenance costs, the cost of fuelling them, the cost of installing charging infrastructure, as well as government incentives to buy them and the effect of Clean Air Zone charging.

In London where the ULEZ charges diesel vans for entering the centre of the capital, electric vans are already cheaper to operate than diesel vans. The RAP research showed that with a levy of as low as €6 per diesel vehicle per day, then electric vans become cheaper to run. Other UK cities are instituting clean air zone charges and this will help make the relative TCO fall nationwide.

Other factors looked at in the TCO analysis by RAP showed that maintenance of electric vans is 32% cheaper than diesels. Even with the strong upward trajectory of fossil fuel and electricity, the price of fuelling a diesel van is set to increase far more quickly than that of an electric vehicle.

According to the authors of the report, “Europe’s increases in online shopping and delivery over the last two years show no signs of waning. Parcel delivery vehicles make up one of the most significant heavy-duty vehicle segments by volume in Europe, recording a market share of 11% in 2020. Fortunately, their predictable schedules and relatively short routes make last-mile delivery vehicles a prime candidate for electrification.”

One factor raised by the NGO is that thanks to the relatively short distances of a daily run by a delivery van, there is often no need for a delivery company to buy an EV van with a large battery. Most vans in a fleet will only travel 50-75 miles daily for their useful life so there is no point in buying a vehicle that will do significantly more. In choosing a vehicle with a smaller battery, so the capital cost and thereby the total cost of ownership will fall.

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