Commercial Vehicles

Introduction to the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership & Cenex Low Emission Van Guide.

Why Choose a Low Emission Van?

The right low emission van saves you money, reduces your environmental impact and helps you win new business.

Better for business

Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from vehicles normally means you are also spending less money on fuel.

Low emission vans also help demonstrate environmental commitment and enhance your organisation’s image. Corporate social responsibility is more important than ever, while your organisation’s reputation, in the eyes of the public, customers, suppliers and industry bodies, has never been under greater scrutiny.

Transport for London and many local authorities include performance standards for low emission vans within their contract tendering process. Organisations across the UK are following their lead. By operating a low emission van, you will be a step ahead of other bidders. Consumer surveys are pointing in the same direction; people expect governments and businesses to be more ambitious about shifting to low and zero emission vehicles.

Better for air quality and health

Poor air quality is estimated to contribute to up to 36,000 premature deaths a year in the UK. Many UK cities are developing measures to reduce emissions from vehicles. In London, the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was launched in April 2019. Diesel vans operating in the zone must meet Euro 6 emissions standards or pay a daily charge. Euro 6 is the latest standard introduced to regulate the level of pollutants released from the tailpipes of light vehicle engines. Euro 6 aims to reduce the levels of harmful emissions including NOx, carbon monoxide and particulate matter (PM).

Other UK cities are introducing measures to improve air quality. Birmingham and Leeds plan to introduce Clean Air Zones (CAZ) by 2020, with the former confirmed to include vans. Many more cities are actively exploring options to improve air quality. As the case studies in this guide show, many companies and organisations are already saving money from operating low emission vehicles. Improved vehicle availability and choice – together with the introduction of CAZs – is further strengthening the case for acquiring cleaner vehicles. By changing to a low emission van, you may help improve your own health outcomes and will help improve the wellbeing of others.

Better for the environment

We must all take steps to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (most notably CO2). The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1°C since the late 19th century, driven largely by human-made GHG emissions. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years and the 20 warmest years on record have all been in the past 22 years. The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt, for example in sea level rise and coastal flooding, heatwaves, intense precipitation, and ecosystem change. Scientists are clear that to avoid catastrophic changes to human society over the next few decades, we have to stop burning fossil fuels by the end of the 2020s, and preferably sooner. Transport is the largest source of GHG emissions in the UK, so we don’t have time to lose, we urgently need to switch to using low emission vehicles.

The UK Government has introduced various measures and incentives to encourage low emission vehicle uptake as part of its 2018 Road to Zero strategy. These are set out in the Grants and Incentives section of this guide. Additional measures may include bringing van Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in line with the CO2-emissions based bands used for car VED5. Government has also set an ambition to end the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040.

Better for everyone

Procedures for testing and reporting vans’ fuel and emissions performance are improving. The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) is a new global regulation for measuring pollutant and CO2 emissions and energy consumption in light duty vehicles. It replaces the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) that was used for over 20 years. WLTP uses improved dynamic and robust test procedures, and better reflects real-world driving conditions. It produces results more in keeping with real-world values, improving business and consumer confidence in fuel economy, emissions and electric range values for new vehicles.

WLTP is mandatory for all new cars and car-derived vans from September 2018, and for all new vans from September 2019. Vehicles’ actual performance is not affected by the transition to WLTP. However, WLTP will result in a higher g/km CO2 value for a specific vehicle compared to NEDC because it is more rigorous and more realistic. New vans will also be subject to a more stringent compliance regime, known as Real Driving Emissions (RDE). This is an on-road test of pollutant emissions. RDE complements the WLTP laboratory test, ensuring vehicles deliver low emissions over a wide range of driving environments.

Technologies for low emission vans

There are plenty of misconceptions about alternatively fuelled vehicles, but trustworthy information from reliable, independent sources makes it easier for you to find the best solution for your business. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. The following page explains the factors to consider when choosing a low emission van or technology, in three categories: operational, financial and environmental. The majority of the guide consists of topic sheets on different fuels and technologies, showing how each performs against these criteria. The topic sheets explain vehicle availability and deployment options and include an example whole life cost (WLC) calculation and case study.

The Low Emission Van Guide

Read the full guide to find out even more…

View the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership & Cenex Low Emission Van Guide