Electric BEDEO van

Greening logistics: how to make your fleet more eco-friendly

At a time when sustainability is no longer just a buzzword but a business imperative, the logistics industry is under significant pressure to reduce its carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions. Transportation is a major contributor to CO₂ emissions, and as the demand for logistics services grows, so does the need for eco-friendly practices. As a leader in the van fleet electrification sector, Osman Boyner, Founder and CEO of BEDEO has seen first-hand the benefits of adopting green logistics strategies. He opens up on ways to minimise CO₂ emissions for van fleet managers, as his company, BEDEO, is one of the foremost players in the sector, with a range of electrification services for brand-new and used vans.

Electrification and its importance in reducing CO₂ emissions

Let’s get straight into it; electrifying large vans is crucial for several reasons, primarily revolving around environmental and economic benefits. Large vans, often used for urban, ‘last-mile’ deliveries and logistics, contribute significantly to urban pollution due to their reliance on diesel engines, which emit high levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). Transitioning these vehicles to electric power reduces CO₂ emissions, contributing to cleaner, healthier urban environments. This shift is especially important in densely populated cities where air quality is a major public health concern, and where fleets are coming under the closest scrutiny and charges for non-compliance.

From an economic and cost perspective, electric vans offer lower operating costs compared to their diesel counterparts. Electricity is generally cheaper than diesel, and electric vehicles (EVs) have fewer moving parts, which are proven to lower maintenance costs and less downtime. As I alluded to, as cities around the world implement stricter emissions regulations and establish low-emission zones, electric vans ensure compliance and avoid potential penalties – crucial where every penny and mile counts towards a prosperous bottom line. By adopting electric vans, it’s proven that businesses can enhance their sustainability credentials, meet regulatory requirements, and realise long-term cost savings; making the electrification of large vans not only a smart step, but a necessary one for the future of urban logistics.

Adopting a circular economy – saving money, saving the planet

While electricity is proven to be cheaper for fleet owners than diesel, owing to the fact that vehicles can be charged overnight on off-peak rates and from the depot where they are kept, buying a brand-new electric large van can be a lot more expensive.

In a previous piece on eLCV uptake, I highlighted the cost disparity between electric and diesel models. Comparing the recommended retail prices (RRP) before tax and utilising the £5,000 Plug-in Van Grant (PIVG), the Ford e-Transit Double Cab emerges as 12% more expensive than its diesel counterpart. Similarly, a Mercedes-Benz eSprinter Panel Van shows an 11% higher price tag compared to the diesel Mercedes-Benz eSprinter Panel Van under the same conditions. Of course, the prices for the diesels are RRP list, but I know from working in the industry that the outright transaction price of diesel vans is much more heavily discounted, making the electric variants even more expensive than these projected percentages. Furthermore, it’s worth considering the imminent end of the £5,000 PIVG, which could further influence the pricing dynamics between electric and diesel models. As such, businesses need to carefully evaluate both the upfront costs and long-term savings associated with transitioning to eLCVs.

This is before we look at fleet owners with costly rear-cargo fit outs, which can be anywhere from £5,000 to £30,000 per van. There is a third way though – through retrofit and adopting circular economy principles.

Retrofitting is already popular in other European countries such as France (where they have stricter rules on homologation and greater grants), converting used ICE vehicles to run on electric power, and a proven accelerator in the adoption of electric vans. Not only does retrofitting a large van to run on electric power extend the life of that vehicle by saving it versus trading in and buying new, but it also lowers the total cost of ownership and reduces the financial burden of buying a brand-new electric van while minimising environmental impact.

Driver education, engagement and enlightenment on electrification

The perceived barrier of internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric vehicle (EV) is large for most drivers who haven’t ever used an EV (van or passenger car), however, at the time of writing, this percentage of drivers is getting a lot smaller. That said, through our work with Stellantis and large fleets in the last decade or so, we have a lot of data on the power of driver education to engage and enlighten them on the benefits of electrification – not just for the planet but making their day-to-day deliveries easier. So, whether your fleet has more EV natives than not, we still think a refresher course and driver education are crucial in ensuring you maximise your electric large van, especially if it’s used for last-mile deliveries.

For example, educating drivers on regenerative braking and efficient driving techniques can make each delivery cycle more efficient, not only because it recovers energy that would be lost during braking, but we can gain that energy back, and add battery range. When looking at the principle of regenerative braking, but for last-mile deliveries – where frequent stops and starts are common – regenerative braking can maximise energy efficiency and keep vehicles on the road longer between charges. This leads to more deliveries within a single charge cycle, increasing productivity and reducing downtime associated with charging.

Every driver thinks they’re efficient with their inputs, but when the fundamentals are addressed – such as smooth acceleration, maintaining steady speeds, and anticipating traffic flow – there are gains to be had, too. In urban settings, where last-mile deliveries are often hindered by traffic congestion and constant stops, these driving habits ensure a more predictable and efficient use of the vehicle’s power. Efficient driving reduces the likelihood of sudden braking and harsh accelerations, and indeed, optimises the performance of regenerative braking systems.

Our studies also find that the average large van travels around 70 miles a day, and as such we’ve designed our Reborn Electric retrofit packages with those in mind. For example, our RE-100 incorporates range extender technology with a difference, and is capable of 72 miles of electric range (WLTP mixed cycle), which is what we’ve found to be more than enough for daily driving.

Driver management is essential for greening your logistics, especially when switching to electric power. The cost and environmental benefits are undeniable. But if you’re looking to go green today without upsetting your P&L, retrofitting your large vans with BEDEO Reborn Electric packages might be the best option. Updating and retrofitting your vans to run on electric systems from our team at BEDEO not only saves embedded carbon but also means often costly rear cargo fit outs remain, meaning van fleet owners can electrify without many of the burdens found with buying new.

Osman and the BEDEO team have launched a whitepaper, titled ‘Accelerating the Transition, Supporting our Businesses: Enabling Low-Emission Fleets with Retrofit Electrification’ on the importance of leveraging, supporting, and facilitating electric retrofits in the UK market. It’s available to view here:  bedeo.tech/whitepaper-accelerating-the-transition-supporting-our-businesses


  1. Merci pour tous ces détails sur la green logistique qui va devenir dans les prochaines années indispensable à une logistique cohérente et d’avenir.

    • Translation: Thank you for all these details on green logistics which will become essential in the coming years for coherent and future-oriented logistics.