Jun 26, 2020

The EV road to recovery

Lex Autolease
Lauren Pamma, Electrification ...
4 min
Lauren Pamma, Electrification Proposition Lead at Lex Autolease, unpicks how utility businesses can benefit from adopting electric vehicles...

Lauren Pamma, Electrification Proposition Lead at Lex Autolease , unpicks how utility businesses can benefit from adopting electric vehicles.

It is no surprise that business priorities have shifted since the Covid-19 crisis, as many look to preserve existing resources and start the rebuilding process. However, against the backdrop of the government’s ‘Build Back Better’ messaging, there is an opportunity to ensure sustainability remains a central part of any future plans.

According to research from the International Energy Agency, since travel restrictions were imposed at the start of the pandemic, up to 2.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions have been prevented globally. The recent UK lockdown resulted in an unforeseen boost to the progress towards net-zero and businesses across the utility industry can look to use this shift as a catalyst for long-term change by accelerating their transition to electric vehicles. 

Positive steps have already been taken by key players across the energy sector. Giants including Eon and British Gas have pledged to electrify their fleets and install the necessary charging infrastructure within the next ten years, as part of The Climate Group’s EV100 commitment, which we’re also signatories of. 

As we begin to take the first steps towards a green recovery from the crisis, what should utility businesses consider when exploring their Electric Vehicle (EV) options and what is really driving fleet electrification?

Right vehicle, right job

For any business looking to introduce alternatively-fuelled vehicles within its operation, it’s important to identify areas where the transition to electric can be made most easily. Put simply, it’s a case of matching each job role to the most appropriate vehicle technology. 

For example, businesses doing relatively low-mileage and stop-start driving within a concentrated urban area will find petrol and diesel vehicles are rarely the most efficient fuel types for the job. In this case, electric vehicles present an opportunity for businesses to reap possible savings on fuel, maintenance, taxation and charges for entering Ultra Low Emission Zones.

However, jobs which require vehicles to be in operation for longer and to cover more miles – for example to deliver parts and services to a wider network of customers – may still be better suited to the very latest clean diesel technology. 

It’s important to highlight that the transition to electric vehicles doesn’t have to be all or nothing. For many businesses, introducing a select number of EVs into their organisation to trial the technology and build up employee advocacy is a preferable – and more realistic - starting point. 

Whole life cost

Although electric vehicle technology is evolving rapidly, up-front purchase costs for many electric cars and vans currently remain more expensive than their petrol and diesel counterparts. While the ongoing low running costs are highly attractive to businesses, the initial upfront investment can be a barrier to wide-spread adoption. 

Firms must look at the bigger picture and consider the full lifespan of the vehicle and the subsequent cost savings that can be made. Together with unrestricted access to Clean Air Zones in cities across the UK, businesses can reap savings on taxation and fuel costs. While the cost-per-mile in a traditionally-fuelled vehicle is around 14 pence, charging some electric models such as the Peugeot e-208 can be as cheap as four pence per mile. 

Establishing the right charging infrastructure is the key to the long-term viability and adoption of electric vehicles across a business’s fleet, which brings its own set of considerations. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of who is supplying the chargers, who will be using them, where they need to be, and the type of chargers required. For businesses looking to further boost their green credentials, charging EVs using renewable energy sources can go a long way to make their driving even greener and unlock additional long-term savings. 

EVs on the charge

The declining uptake of diesel and petrol vehicles on UK roads is nothing new, and EV adoption has picked up considerably in recent months. Recent registration figures from the Society of Motor and Manufacturers Traders (SMMT) show that the number of EVs on the roads have more than doubled amid the global pandemic.

This continues the trend of the past 12 months which have arguably seen the fastest pace of change yet, thanks in no small part to the continued support from government’s Road to Zero Strategy. The strategy outlines a series of ambitious targets and funding packages to facilitate a future where all new cars and vans are effectively zero-emission by 2035 - potentially just three replacement cycles away for many fleet operators.

As government incentives gather pace, it’s only a matter of time before electric vehicles become embedded into the UK’s road network. 

Utility businesses now face a significant opportunity to embrace the benefits of alternatively-fuelled vehicles. By starting the EV transition today, businesses can not only play their part in contributing to the UK’s sustainability targets but also reap the long-term cost-saving advantages of introducing EVs into their fleet.

This article was contributed by Lauren Pamma, Electrification Proposition Lead at Lex Autolease

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May 14, 2021

Mirico Cloud identifies emission changes

Dominic Ellis
4 min
The platform allows customers to quantify gas emissions across multiple oil and gas sites - and comes amid more scrutiny over Paris-aligned targets

Mirico is extending its gas measurement services with the launch of Mirico Cloud for the oil and gas industry.

The platform lets customers detect and quantify gas emissions across multiple oil and gas sites, and quickly fix issues causing changes in emissions. Customers can be contacted by SMS or email for alerts if a new emission is above a certain size, or about an existing known emission that has started to grow.

Customisable dashboards can show average emissions over the last 24 hours or how emissions vary by asset type.

"It's great to be able to broaden the service we provide our customers," said Dr Linda Bell, CEO of Mirico. "We really feel this is a big step forward in helping the oil & gas industry to quickly identify emission issues at scale and ultimately help them in their goals to reach net zero."

The industry remains under intense pressure to deliver on emission targets. Achieving 50% lower emissions by 2030 will require either full electrification of the West of Shetland and Central North Sea or earlier-than-expected field cessations, according to Wood Mackenzie.

In 2018 the UK produced 451 million tonnes CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) of greenhouse gas emissions. Around 3% of this total is direct emissions from oil and gas activity on the UK Continental Shelf. Energy generation, mainly from fossil fuels,  produced 23% of emissions, and the transport industry accounted for a further 28%, mostly from the use of oil-based products.

The North Sea Transition deal has four key pillars:

  • Supply decarbonisation reduce emissions from oil and gas production by 50% by 2030
  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS) target 10 Mtpa of carbon capture by 2030
  • Hydrogen deliver 5 GW of low-carbon hydrogen capacity by 2030
  • Supply chain/people deliver investment of £14-16 billion into low-carbon technology by 2030

Methane in the spotlight, a busy 48 hours for bp and JPMorgan releases carbon reduction targets

Institutional investors with a collective $5.35 trillion in assets are calling on the Biden administration to get tougher about methane emissions as it seeks to address climate change. "Any credible pathway for the use of natural gas in a Paris-aligned future must address methane emissions," it states.

Cutting human-caused methane by 45% this decade would keep warming beneath a threshold agreed by world leaders, according to the UN Environment Programme. Such reductions would avoid nearly 0.3°C of global warming by 2045 and would be consistent with keeping the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal, to limit global temperature rises to 1.5˚C, within reach.

bp and CEMEX will work together on accelerating the ‎progress of the latter's 2050 ambition to deliver net zero CO2 concrete globally. Around 70% of global emissions come from transport, ‎industry and energy and cement making is energy intensive. Last week bp and renewable energy supplier Pure Planet forged a partnership to launch a new digital energy service that will support households, EV drivers and energy consumers in the UK.

Hot on the heels of the CEMEX announcement, bp shareholders rejected a plan that would have forced the company to strengthen its climate commitments in an AGM poll, with only 20.65% pledging support. "We will continue to engage with shareholders on our strategy, targets and aims so as to ensure their views are fully understood," it stated. One of the challenges is that there is no single metric that measures Paris consistency, according to chief executive Bernard Looney.

JPMorgan Chase yesterday released comprehensive steps it is taking in its efforts to align its financing activities with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, publishing 2030 carbon intensity targets for the Oil & Gas, Electric Power and Auto Manufacturing sectors. It also released its new Carbon Compass methodology that describes how the firm set its targets and how it will monitor progress over time, and unveiled a Center for Carbon Transition

“There must be collective ambition and cooperation by business and government to tackle climate change,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase. "Setting our Paris-aligned targets is an important step toward accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy and meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. JPMorgan Chase is committed to doing its part by working with clients around the world to reduce emissions and by ensuring our own operations remain carbon neutral."

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