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Sustainable car fleet of Van Dorp installaties: natural gas vehicles

Erwin Hofman's picture

Van Dorp installaties aims to have a sustainable car fleet, whereby the following principle is used: The preferred choice is electric cars, followed by hybrid cars, cars on natural gas, and at least cars that are A label certified.

Van Dorp installaties (VDI) is a progressive and innovative technical installation company. Sustainability of operations is one of the priorities of the company. This is carried out through offering sustainable and green concepts for customers, but also by applying sustainability in the own organisation. VDI has been certified with the highest level 5 on the CO2 Performance Ladder (CO2-prestatieladder). This performance ladder is an instrument that encourages businesses to consider their CO2 emissions, as well as that of their suppliers. VDI aims to use a sustainable vehicle fleet.  All employees at least drive cars that are certified with an A label.

The company uses eight Opel Combo commercial vans, powered by natural gas. In addition, Van Dorp has an electric pickup truck of the Mega brand, from the French AIXAM-MEGA group. Van Dorp installaties built solar panels on this vehicle, so that the pickup truck can partly charge itself. Since Van Dorp can do the maintenance and assembly of the solar panels themselves, the use of the Mega is from a costs point of view very interesting. However, the pickup truck has a very limited range of only 80 kilometres, and a maximum speed of only 45 kilometres per hour. Except for the use for several projects in inner cities, the vehicle is therefore mostly used at fairs and special events.

When replacing vehicles, the following principle is used: The preferred choice is electric cars, followed by hybrid cars, cars on natural gas, and at least cars that are A label certified. Therefore, for the future replacement of vehicles VDI will look as much as possible at electric alternatives. Hence, at several of VDI’s locations there are charging stations for electric cars.

Financing

Van Dorp installaties did not receive subsidies for the sustainability of the entire car fleet. However, for the purchase of the natural gas vehicles, the company received a subsidy from The Hague municpality (gemeente Den Haag), and also for purchasing a Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid car government subsidies were used. Because VDI has been awarded level 5 of the CO2 Performance Ladder, the company is entitled to fictitious discounts in government procurement procedures.

Operating costs

The operating costs of the eight natural gas vehicles are slightly lower than those of regular cars on diesel. However, this does not provide real savings. This is especially due to the limited range of these cars. The natural gas vehicles should be used by drivers that make few kilometres, and therfore do not have to refuel regularly. These vehicles can also only be used at VDI locations that are near natural gas filling stations.

Savings

The majority of the CO2 emissions by Van Dorp is caused by the car fleet, and by heating the company buildings. VDI aims for a emission reduction of 5.9% in 2015 as compared to 2010.

The CO2 Performance Ladder shows that the CO2 emissions per full-time equivalent (FTE) as a result of fuel use of the car fleet was reduced by 8.8% between 2010 and 2013. Considering that the company experienced a considerable growth during that period, the total emissions increased.

Further details

How was the green solution financed?: 
Operating and maintenance costs description: 
The operating costs of the eight natural gas vehicles are slightly lower than those of regular cars on diesel.
Emission reductions description: 
he CO2 Performance Ladder shows that the CO2 emissions per full-time equivalent (FTE) as a result of fuel use of the car fleet was reduced by 8.8% between 2010 and 2013.
Operating and maintenance costs: 
Yes, low O&M costs
Technical and capacity requirements?: 

With regard to the commercial vehicles, especially the limited load capacity is a problem, because of the smaller and more efficient engines. When choosing for the cleanest engines, the maximum trailer weight is low, or to use a trailer is not allowed at all.
With regard to personal cars for employees, the fuel consumption as quoted by the manufacturers is often lower than the consumption in practice. Car manufacturers aim to fall into lower tax classes. However, in reality the fuel consumption then often disappoints, as does the range of the cars.