Using Green Energy to Power Our Vehicles
Electric vehicles, or EVs, have been around for over a hundred years. The first practical EVs first came about in the 1890s. However, they lost out to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles because of their limited range (the distance they can go on a single charge).
In the last few years, they have made a comeback as the world started realising that burning fossil fuels is bad for the environment. As a result, EVs and hybrid vehicles are becoming popular again.
In fact, during the lockdown in 2020, whilst new car sales went down, EV sales actually increased.
Why are EVs popular again?
The reason for modern EVs becoming popular is that, unlike the original EVs, newer Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) come with a larger range. And, as they become more widely accepted, car manufacturers are working towards increasing the range even more.
New emissions testing standards
At the same time, the old emissions testing standard, New European Driving Standards (NEDC) started to be phased out, to be replaced with a new measurement standard in September 2017.
The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure, or WLTP, is a more accurate emissions measuring system. It uses a much more realistic measurement model than the old standard.
As a result, the emissions ratings of vehicles increased, leading to higher taxes. So, it became more cost-efficient for businesses to own vehicles that had lower emissions.
The Road to Zero strategy
In 2018, the Government introduced the Road to Zero strategy. This document outlined a plan to gradually phase out new ICE vehicles from the roads to reduce on-road NOx pollution.
The goal is to promote Low Emission Vehicles (LEVs) so that they make up at least 50%, preferably up to 70%, of the new car sales (and 40% of van sales) by 2030. The goal is to ban the sale of new fossil-fuel-powered vehicles by 2040.
Eventually, by 2050, almost every vehicle on the road should be an LEV.
In order to accomplish this, the Government offered grants and subsidies to businesses as well as private vehicle owners to install charging points for their EVs. There is also a strategic plan to improve the charging infrastructure by building more public charging points.
At the end of June 2022, there were 32,663 charging points across the country, according to Zap-Map. This, the company reports, is a 34% increase from June 2021.
In short, with an increased range and readily available charging points (which will only increase in number), owning an EV is not only good for the environment but also for your company’s bottom line.
BioteCH4’s circular economy - Green power for our electric vehicles
All in all, this is an excellent time for those who wanted to transition to EVs for the benefit of the environment.
However, some people raised the question of how clean EVs are if the electricity that is used to charge them is being generated from polluting sources.
That is where we at BioteCH4 can feel proud of our electric fleet.
At BioteCH4, we have eight EVs in our fleet, with plans in place to replace some of the ICE vehicles with EVs in the future.
(Why don’t we replace them right away? Because ‘binning’ something that works just to replace it with a greener option is more wasteful and damaging to the environment than running a fossil-fuel-powered vehicle for a few more years.)
More importantly, we charge our EVs with the electricity we generate using the biofuel we produce.
In 2021, we generated over 100,000 MWhe of power. To provide some perspective, this clean energy could be used to:
- Charge 2 million Standard Range Tesla Model 3s, or,
- Provide enough power to one of these Teslas to go around the Earth 13,000 times, or,
- Provide enough power to one of these Teslas to drive from Earth to Mars and back again six times!
Again, this is clean, renewable energy generated from anaerobically digesting food waste to create biogas and biofertiliser.
Powering other businesses on site
Whilst it would have been enough to power our own fleet with clean energy, we went a bit further. Not only do we generate power for our own business, but we also provide other businesses on site with clean energy.
And, to make it that much more sustainable, any organic waste generated at Hemswell Coldstore and ParkAcre comes to Hemswell Biogas to be processed and converted into green energy, completing the recycling loop.
How does our clean energy keep EVs ‘clean’?
EVs are inherently less polluting than ICE vehicles, as they produce no emissions. However, if they are being charged using electricity that was generated by burning fossil fuels, that benefit is offset to a degree. In order to make them truly ‘clean’, the energy to power them needs to be sustainable and clean as well.
Our energy is produced through the Anaerobic Digestion of organic waste. This waste would otherwise have been either incinerated (most likely) or sent to a landfill (much less likely).
Incinerating food waste is energy-inefficient due to the high amount of water content it contains.
Sending it to a landfill is actually more polluting. That is because not only are landfills bad for the environment, but also any food waste sent there ends up releasing greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and water vapour.
On the other hand, anaerobically digesting this waste allows us to harness these greenhouse gases for good. We convert them into biogas, which is used to generate electricity or is cleaned up and sent to the national grid.
In short, we produce power by reducing the burden on our planet.
When we use this to charge our EVs, we ensure that our clean vehicles live up to their name.
Does your business generate food waste that you would like to recycle? Get in touch with us. We can not only help you reduce the amount of waste you produce but also process it sustainably, reducing your business’s carbon footprint.
Creating a Sustainable Future
At BioteCH4, we’re committed to creating a cleaner, more sustainable future for all, be that by recycling commercial food waste, supporting local councils with food waste collections and educating our future generations on the importance of recycling. If you’d like to find out more about what we do, we’d love to talk!