Fleet News

University of Warwick plugs into new low carbon scheme

The University of Warwick has revved up its commitment to lowering its carbon emission by replacing five diesel vehicles with new electric powered vans.

Funding for the five new vans was met by a grant from the Department of Transport’s Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme, and takes the number of electric vehicles at the University to 14.

Based on the Ford Transit panel van design, the new additions to the University’s fleet of vehicles will be operated by the Estates Services department, Estates Commercial Group and Warwick Accommodation.

The University of Warwick is one of only two UK higher education institutes selected to take part in the Department of Transport’s £20 million Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme.

Graham Hine , the University’s transport manager said: “This is great news for Warwick and will go a long way to helping us meet our environmental targets on campus.

“Being involved in an innovative programme aimed at stimulating the market for low carbon and electric vans in the UK is an exciting opportunity for Warwick to lead the way in the deployment of such vehicles for everyday use.”

As part of taking part in the Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme the University is also signed up to a research programme designed at improving the performance of the vans.

Throughout the first two years of the vehicles life they will regularly go for telematics testing to check the performance of the battery and to measure the amount of CO2 given off.

The new vehicles have been supplied by Smith Electric Vehicles.

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  • LINGsCARS.com - 31/03/2011 10:08

    Well, I have no idea how they measure the CO2 or carbon, but clearly it is more inefficient to make all the batteries (which will need charging every few years), to charge batteries from the grid, with all the losses that implies... then to run the vans at much lower carrying capacity and higher unladen weight (due to the batteries)... than simply to use basic diesel vans which are very efficient. Not only that, but the costs of the vans will be high. Plus then you need the charging infrastructure. This might be good PR, but it does not stack up when you do the complete maths. If people believe this is a low-carbon solution, they are mistaken. Further, the vans are highly restricted in use, due to their range anxiety. Any distance journeys will need conventional diesel vans, meaning an additional vehicle. It is all a bit of a nonsense. It is in fact a HIGH carbon solution. Journalists will swallow any old rubbish, it seems. Ling LINGsCARS

  • Barry Kellow - 31/03/2011 15:40

    According to Smith's ceo Bryan Hansel, the US wing of the company is on target to deliver 100,000 of its bigger Newton truck within 4 years from factories in 20 states. The Kansas City factory is delivering 1000 this year. Pepsico subsidiary Frito-Lay, having already bought 176 of them, last week expressed an intention to continue buying hundreds more. Ling is mistaken in believing that range anxiety is an issue - with depot based delivery fleets it isn't. And fleet owners at TNT, CocaCola, Staples, Pacific Electric, etc, etc are not mugs when it comes to judging the economic lifetime advantage of switching from diesel to electric. The savings in fuel and maintenance costs are huge enough to make the upfront cost worthwhile - and that extra upfront cost will dwindle away as components move into quantity production. Within about 4 years I am expecting the purchase price - without subsidies - to be the same as for diesels - and to thereafter become cheaper than. I wish Ling every success with her car leasing business - but I confidently expect she will be offering electric vehicles herself within the next few years - unless she wants to miss out.

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