by OMS Admin OMS Admin

Last mile delivery is defined as the movement of goods from out-of-town warehouses or suppliers to the final delivery address, such as homes or businesses. With the demand for final mile delivery soaring, it is more important than ever for warehouses, suppliers, and retailers to leverage cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly solutions.

Last mile delivery undertaken by small petrol or diesel vans has numerous negative impacts, including high running costs, climate change, and poor air quality. Point-to-point delivery companies who wish to avoid these negative impacts are increasingly turning to electric last mile delivery vehicles as a solution.

Here we look at the business and environmental impact of switching to an electric last mile delivery solution.

Increased Demand For Home Delivery

There is rapid growth in online shopping as consumers seek greater convenience and services such as same-day delivery. The increase in eCommerce is expected to put 36% more last mile delivery vehicles on our roads by 2030.

Electric vehicles can meet this demand and are smooth, quiet, and less stressful to drive, ensuring a happy and healthy workforce that is less likely to be on sick leave.

A Faster Delivery

There is plenty of choice of three and four-wheeled light final mile delivery vehicles. These are convenient to charge with a three-pin plug and fall into two groups:

  • Powered Light Vehicles (PLV) – micro-vehicles that make speedy deliveries carrying loads between 200-500kgs
  • Light Commercial Vehicles – electric vans with greater capacities ranging from 200-1,000kgs

Reduced Fuel Consumption

Fuel consumption is a considerable operational expense. The cost of electricity is significantly less than petrol or diesel, so this is a big win for businesses. 

Here we show the fuel costs for travelling just 3 miles (which is one KWh in the case of electric vehicles):

  • £0.145 for a typical light electric last mile delivery vehicle
  • £0.29 for a diesel Ford Transit Connect Light Commercial vehicle
  • £0.38 for a petrol Fiat Doblo Light Commercial vehicle 

Emissions & Environmental Impact

Diesel and petrol-powered transportation is the single largest sector emitting 27% of the UK’s greenhouse gases.

EVs create no conventional emissions that would pollute the environment and cause health problems for humans, animals, and pets. While electricity sourced from the National Grid may be generated by fossil fuels, emissions are not released on the streets where people live and work. The health impacts of tailpipe emissions from cars and vans are estimated to cost the UK £5.9 billion a year.

The National Grid is continuously reducing its reliance on fossil fuels, with green technologies such as wind, solar, and tidal electricity generation replacing these. Carbon emissions for electric last mile delivery vehicles are 55% lower compared to a typical diesel van. However, businesses can go further by choosing a renewable tariff from their electricity supplier to stipulate the source of their electricity generation.

EVs are also compliant with government schemes designed to deter businesses from owning petrol and diesel vehicles. These government initiatives include Low Emission Zones (LEZ) and Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ) that are increasingly in force in the UK, in cities such as London, Birmingham, and Bristol. Zero emissions last mile delivery vehicles do not need to pay the surcharge for entering these Clean Air Zones (CAZ), saving companies a huge daily charge.

Total Running Costs

Maintenance accounts for a significant portion of the cost of running a final mile delivery fleet. Electric vehicles compare well with simple gear transmissions that take less wear and tear. Mechanically simple engines with few moving parts present fewer opportunities for something to go wrong, reducing maintenance costs and increasing run-time.

The average EV has 20 moving parts compared to 2,000 moving parts in an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. The result is electric delivery vehicles are 70% cheaper to maintain. They require no fluid, and oil refills and battery packs offer a usable life of more than 300,000km. Electric delivery vans fitted with regenerative brakes provide extra range and further reduce energy consumption.

Here we help you get a feeling for the annual running costs of electric compared to diesel last mile delivery vehicles with an average mileage of 7,500 miles.

Small electric last mile delivery vehicle

  • Congestion charge:   £0
  • Servicing:      £173
  • Fuel cost:      £494
  • Insurance:      £800
  • Vehicle excise duty:    £0
  • Total:         £1,467

Small diesel van

  • Congestion charge:   £2,625
  • Servicing:      £239
  • Fuel cost:      £855
  • Insurance:      £800
  • Vehicle excise duty:    £150
  • Total:          £4,669

The per-vehicle annual saving on running costs bears an even more significant impact as larger portions of the fleet convert to electric final mile delivery vehicles.

Who’s Gone Electric?

Many suppliers and logistics companies have already gone electric, including:

  • 100,000 – Amazon (ordered with full fleet implementation by 2024)
  • 10,000 – UPS (ordered with full fleet implementation by 2024)
  • 1,000 – FedEx 
  • 500 – DPD
  • 500 – Milk & More
  • 500 – Yamato Transport (5,000 by 2030)
  • 190 – Royal Main
  • 140 – Flipkart
  • 100 – DHL Germany

These statistics make it clear that commercial electric vehicles have moved into the mainstream. With the biggest brands in the UK and the world transforming their fleets, electrically-powered is put into the hands of any local or national retailer, supplier, or distribution company.
View our range of electric last mile delivery vehicles to enjoy the business and environmental benefits.