Plug In For The Last Mile: The Benefits Of Electric Delivery Vehicles

Written by Integrated Skills

Aug 24, 2018

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Smart Cities

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At no point in the history of electric vehicles have they been more prevalent in all sectors of the economy. Goods, parcels and postal logistics are no exception, despite the purchase or leasing cost of an electric vehicle being generally higher than an equivalent diesel/petrol vehicle.
There are solid reasons behind the increasing deployment of small electric delivery vehicles for last mile deliveries in particular. Some of these apply to electric vehicles in general, while others are specific to the types of vehicle used in logistics. Here is a brief overview:

Reduced Fuel Consumption

The cost of electricity is substantially lower than that of diesel or petrol. An efficient electric vehicle can travel 3 miles or more per kilowatt hour of electricity, which equates to about 4p per mile. (March 2018 average electric prices were 12.49p per kilowatt hour.) Accurate costs per mile for petrol and diesel vehicles are difficult to calculate because of varying energy efficiency in engines. However, the mean cost per mile according to government averages for <1400 cc engines is 11.5p1, so you have an immediate saving of 7p per mile. This will soon start repaying the additional investment needed for deploying electric vehicles in your fleet.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs account for a large proportion of ongoing fleet expenses for delivery companies. Replacing diesel or petrol vehicles with electric equivalents for last mile deliveries can help lower these costs. How?

  • Electric vehicle engines are mechanically simpler than conventional engines, due to the needing fewer moving parts. An electric battery, for instance, has only a single moving part, compared to the complex drivetrain of a conventional vehicle. The fewer moving parts a motor has, the less chance for things to go wrong.
  • Electric vehicles have simpler gear transmissions which are less subject to wear and tear.
  • No oil or fluid replacements are required.
  • Some electric vehicles have advanced features such as regenerative braking, which further reduce the impact of repeated use on vital systems – hence less maintenance.

Environmental Impact

The environmental benefits of fully electric vehicles are well known. None of the conventional emissions that are harmful to the environment and human health are produced. This has an overall benefit for the environment, but also assists with compliance in low emission areas, such as Greater London. The counterargument is that increased electricity consumption places more pressure on the National Grid, which is still largely powered by fossil fuels. With the improved energy efficiency of electric vehicles, however, this still equates to reduced overall carbon emissions compared to conventional vehicle use.

Integrated Approaches To Fleet Management

We take an integrated approach to fleet management that looks at all the variables and seeks to make cost-savings across your operation. To find out more about how electric vehicles can contribute to savings on your last mile deliveries, call our customer service team on 02380 737 983, or email

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