Electric Vehicles in the Courier Industry
It seems, with technology, that every day there are new breakthroughs and innovations, but with certain things there seem to be huge hurdles and not a lot of progress.
Electric vehicles seem to fall into the latter. When a smart phone can’t hold a charge all day you can understand why we are having difficulty moving a 2 tonnes vehicle further than 150 miles on a single charge. Even so, it seems electric is the way we are heading and with demand comes new innovations from private companies battling to be the best in their field. We already have the big players in the car industry starting to push EV’s and this can only be a good thing for the progress in battery technology. As it stands this is about the only thing holding us back from zipping about in electric vehicles for everyday use.
London (and other countries around the globe) are doing their best to get combustion engines out the cities by hitting everyone that wants to set foot in a petrol or diesel car with fines, sorry, I meant charges, that are difficult to swallow into day to day life. I have mentioned in a previous blog that I do believe this path to electric vehicles is the future but it does not change the fact that the interim period as we all swap over is going to be a costly one.
Now as for delivery companies like us, this is not something that we can ignore or just deal with, we need to be looking towards the future and staying ahead of the game.
Now and electric vehicle for deliveries immediately brings up some unique problems that general car drivers do not have to worry about too much.
- If an electric delivery vehicle runs out of juice then it isn’t just a case of the driver slapping his forehead and exclaiming “doh” while he sits about and waits to be helped out. This problem can end up costing a company thousands of pounds through lost trade, require a complete restructure of the day logistically and cause the poor logistics manager a few more grey hairs.
- The sheer weight of some of the deliveries immediately puts a lot more stresses on the battery banks and the amount of charge they are holding. Like fuel, the more weight you carry, the more you use. Yet in an electric vehicle, it isn’t a case of finding the nearest petrol station, which are littered across the country like……well……litter. You have to find one where you can charge your vehicle and you have to allow it time to charge as well.
- Initial cost and maintenance is something both consumers and producers will have to look into but under heavy use (like a delivery company would do) these costs rise. As the infrastructure advances and we start having garages that work on electric vehicles these costs will start to come down but, as I mentioned above, this transitional period will be costly.
There are advantages to an electric vehicle when delivering around busy city roads.
- No gear changes which benefits stop-start traffic and causes less fatigue on the delivery drivers
- Zero emissions when sitting in standstill traffic
- A lot of the components are 100% recyclable
- Quiet running vehicles which will be a benefit for operating in noise-restricted areas.
Now to offset some of the costs all the major cities don’t charge any rates for electric vehicles so you do get a saving there. There will also be more and more incentives towards electric vehicles in the future as well so there is that.
With rising fuel prices there will also be a saving there for delivery companies and no road tax is always an incentive too so it really is a case of weighing it all up now but also taking into account future plans.
Battery capacity will be increased in delivery vehicles due to the extra space they have for these things and as fast charging gets better and better this will help. Currently, though there are few companies that can afford to have a driver sitting about for a few hours while his electric vehicle charges.
It is definitely the future but, unfortunately, we are not there just yet.
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