Electric cars are growing in popularity, but maybe it's time for Jersey to look at electric buses and trucks if we want to make a real difference.
Over 1.2 million electric vehicles were driving on the world's roads by the end of 2015, and with take-up accelerating rapidly, we are likely to soon pass the two million mark.
Businesses need to catch up
Interestingly, the majority of electric vehicles have been bought by individual consumers rather than businesses looking to update their commercial fleets. Given the greater carbon footprint of large vans and buses, perhaps we should focus on switching away from traditional diesel-powered vehicles to electric ones.
Last year, JE worked with Jersey Post as it replaced 15 of its vans with Nissan ENV200 fully electric vehicles. Costing just 2p per mile, or 92p per day to run, with potential savings of 40% forecast over four years.
On the environmental front, Jersey Post has reduced its carbon footprint by 35 tonnes of C02 per year, just by replacing 14% of its fleet. Imagine the financial and environmental savings if more organisations follow suit and begin to electrify their fleets!
Combined benefits of electric
People and companies tend to switch from combustion engines to electric power because of the combined benefits of cost savings and environmental gains. Lorries and buses, however, are significantly bigger polluters than cars, burning as much as 25 times more fuel. This fact alone makes a strong argument for replacing large petrol or diesel vehicles with their electric equivalents.
In the USA, 29% of vehicle CO2 emissions and 26% of fuel use comes from the 4% of the vehicle fleet classed as 'medium and heavy trucks'.
Of course, Jersey is not home to any electric vehicle manufacturer, and we have to rely on the adoption of proven technologies. In terms of buses, the first steps have already been made elsewhere, in cities as diverse as Tel Aviv and Chicago.
Image courtesy of www.greenpowerbus.com
JE fully supports the adoption of electric vehicles in Jersey, and in recent years we've seen them move towards the mainstream. While it will always be up to individual companies to decide whether electric is best for them, the case is becoming more compelling by the day. If Jersey firms do start switching diesel trucks and buses for their electric counterparts, then the Island will truly be taking a leading role in the roll-out of electric transportation.