The EA commissioned Cenex to provide advice on a range of low-carbon vehicles and fuels that are available for use in its fleet, which currently comprises diesel vehicles.
Cenex used its vehicle simulation package to assess the potential environmental and cost performance of a variety of low-carbon technologies and fuels within the EA’s fleet operation.
Cenex conducted the analysis in two phases to help EA better understand how the deployment of different low-carbon technologies would impact on its operations.
Under the first phase, the various low-carbon technologies were reviewed with performance presented in a traffic light matrix, showing how vehicle and fuel operational practicability, total cost of ownership (TCO) and fleet environmental performance could differ from the current diesel fleet when new low carbon technologies are considered.
In the second phase, Cenex used its Fleet Carbon Reduction Tool (FCRT) to compare selected low-carbon technologies, calculating fuel usage, carbon dioxide emissions generated and cost of ownership incurred by the operation of a fleet of vehicles over representative driving cycles.
Explaining the findings, Robert Anderson, programme manager at Cenex, said: ‘Clearly the task of reducing fleet emissions through alternative fuels and technologies is particularly challenging for the EA fleet given the high number of 4×4 vehicles, which are not supported by current low-carbon options.
‘However, our analyses have indicated that increasing the use of diesel hybrids and biodiesel within their LCV fleet would improve their TCO and carbon emissions. Although the use of EVs was highlighted as an option, the EA need to undertake further work to identify the optimal duty cycles given the range and charging restrictions of these vehicles.’
Ian Jutson, national fleet services manager, at the Environment Agency, added: ‘Gaining independent support and results verification by Cenex has given us the validation we were seeking to continue using hybrid vehicles and biodiesel within our fleet. It has provided a useful insight into which EV vehicles would best fit our operational needs, and has confirmed our fleet strategy going forward. We look forward to continually improving the performance of our fleet over the next few years; in the confidence we have considered all our current options.’