Are the vans in your fleet begging for a change? Switch to zero emissions!

Are the vans in your fleet begging for a change? Switch to zero emissions!

20% of the vehicles on Barcelona’s roads are goods vans. In three years’ time, at least 15% of these vehicles will have to be sustainable ones in order to comply with the Paris Agreements on climate change and for the air that we breathe not to exceed recommended WHO limits.

Here at LIVE, we would like to offer you guidance on how to pave the way for the move to a zero-emissions fleet of vehicles that run on sustainable energy.

We are well aware that it is no easy task to manage a fleet of vehicles, since their maintenance and renewal can be a genuine headache, given that factors other than purely financial ones must be taken into account, such as their capacity, comfort, safety and reliability. Also, whether we are talking about cars, motorbikes, vans or trailers, company vehicles act as calling cards, representing the image of your business at all times.

And while we are on the subject of this image, bear in mind this statistic: fleets of vans account for 33% of all vehicle emissions in Greater Barcelona. That is, one third of all the atmospheric pollution that we breathe comes out of the exhaust pipes of vans.

Today we hardly need to point out that sustainable mobility is here to stay, not just in the private vehicle sector but also in fleets of vehicles. Just as it is impossible to imagine a motorcycle sharing service that is not electric, it will not be long before we regard vans that run on conventional fuel as being obsolete.

Aside from the purely financial reasons for making the change to sustainable mobility (an electric vehicle is cheaper than a conventional one when its whole lifecycle is taken into account), we can cite several other good reasons.

The decision to purchase a fleet of conventional vehicles might seem to be less risky and more affordable in the short term, but it is important to remember that these vehicles have very high variable costs in comparison with an electric vehicle or one that runs on natural gas, since both the latter have substantially lower maintenance and energy costs. In fact, it is a common myth that sustainable vehicles are too expensive when, with the subsidies that are offered by different bodies, it can be very easy to replace a fleet with vehicles that run on sustainable sources of energy. The financial aid available under schemes like Plan Movea*, introduced by the Spanish government for the purchase or leasing of sustainable vehicles powered by electricity, gas or fuel-cells, or Plan PIRVEC, granted by the Catalan Institute for Energy (ICAEN) to fit electric charge points anywhere in Catalonia, are good opportunities to bear in mind when deciding what new vehicles to add to your fleet.

What is more, electric vehicles offer financial perks in the payment of a multitude of taxes, levies and services. For instance, you can park free of charge in blue parking zones throughout Catalonia and you have free access to toll roads. Among the different incentives offered by the authorities, these cars have a 75% reduction on road tax and the MOT is a bit cheaper because no noise or emission tests are needed. 38 of the fleets of company vehicles currently in operation in Catalonia, like those of Danone, Urbaser or the Instituto Metropolitano del Taxi, have an Environmental Quality sticker on all their vehicles. This represents a total of 6,359 cars, vans and lorries that meet certain environmental quality requisites over and above the legally required ones. This means that they can operate 365 days a year anywhere in the country, whatever the climatic or atmospheric conditions.

Success stories

Companies whose fleets need to be in constant operation testify to the benefits that can be reaped from switching to sustainable vehicles. One clear example is the Leche Pascual Group. Since 2011, it has gradually switched the fleet of cars used by its sales staff to sustainable vehicles, going one step further in 2014 when a decision was taken to run all its fleet on natural gas.

Another business that also needs an efficient non-stop fleet is the Spanish postal company, Correos, which is adapting most of its long-distance and last-mile vehicles to sustainable ones. For instance, more and more trailers that work with the company are being adapted to dual fuel and Correos is also buying electric motorcycles for its delivery staff.

Those of you who are familiar with Barcelona’s streets will also have seen that the City Council uses electric vans for the maintenance of parks and gardens and for the teams of road cleaners in some neighbourhoods where access for large vans is more difficult.

The firms that form part of the water consortium AGBAR, like Sorea or Aigües de Barcelona, only use sustainable vehicles, and this last company has set its sights on having the biggest electric fleet in Greater Barcelona.

In addition to all these companies, more and more other businesses and institutions are making the most of the benefits that electric cars can offer in their fleets.
Your company can also take the lead in this change-over. Your balance sheet, your health and ours will all be very grateful.

Call us on 93 100 31 51 or send an email to and we will help you to switch over!

At LIVE, we are fully committed to environmental care and it is our mission to promote sustainable mobility, as well as offering assistance to all those wishing to make the move.

*08/08/2017 update: The subsidies have now run out and the allocation of new budgetary funds is expected in September.


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