The road to sustainability – delivery of our first electric vehicles!

8th December 2023
NVS Group
Spitfire House

Transport is an essential aspect of our business; from our HGV trailers delivering to our depots across the country to our fleet of vans that deliver directly to your practice, and our company cars which ensure that our sales team are on hand to support you when you need it most. 

We are continually working to reduce the carbon footprint from our vehicle use and have been busy exploring the latest technology and ways to reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources. As part of this delivering a greener pawprint initiative, we’re delighted to announce that NVS’s Transport Team has taken delivery of our first electric vehicles!

Eliminating the use of diesel for our HGV trailers

In April 2022, the UK Government made it illegal to use red diesel to power road equipment such as refrigeration units on trailers. This policy change led to an abrupt and overnight increase in the operational expenses of our trailer fleet, given that the cost of conventional road diesel was double that of red diesel. As the trailers were approaching renewal, it was time to explore what alternative options were available in the market that could offer a more sustainable and cleaner solution.

Finding a solution

Our objective was to ensure continued power to the trailer’s heating & cooling unit so that it can maintain an ambient temperature during the trunking phase between our main distribution centre in Stoke-on-Trent, and our various satellite depots across the country. Collaborating with our trailer leasing provider, we successfully identified a suitable alternative that completely eliminated the need for diesel. Comprehensive trials confirmed that this option would work for our operational needs.

How do the new trailers work?

On the outside, the trailers look like any other temperature-controlled 13.6m box trailer. However, where the fuel tank would be sited, a battery pack occupies the designated space and this is the power source for the fridge engine on the trailer. The battery is recharged through ‘dynamos’ fitted to the centre axle of the trailer. As the trailer moves along the road, the kinetic energy generated by the turning wheels and the captured energy from braking recharge the battery. We have installed this solution onto box trailers rather than curtain-sider trailers as the box trailers will provide improved temperature stability during the transportation phase.

What else are we doing to make our fleet more sustainable?

Light Commercial Vehicles LCV (Vans)

Following successful trials in August/September of this year, we’re waiting on the delivery of 5 Maxus E-Deliver fully electric vans which will be based at our Stoke-on-Trent depot – look out for more details coming soon.

Company Cars

Our company car fleet is now hybrid or full-electric.

Empowering our employees to make the change too

We’ve been encouraging our employees to choose a more sustainable form of transport and have installed 48 electric vehicle charging points at our new warehouse and distribution centre – Spitfire House. We also offer a Cycle To Work Scheme.