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Wexford’s Transition to Electric Vans

In November 2021, the same month as COP26, the Department of Transport in Ireland published and launched the Climate Action Plan of 2021. This plan sets out a pathway that will transform how we travel with decarbonisation creating a cleaner greener transport system. Transport causes 18% of our carbon emissions. The plan sets out a pathway towards achieving a 51% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. It will be updated annually, and it outlines the steps required over the next 9 years to radically transform the way you travel and with that our move towards a fully decarbonised transport sector. There are over 70 actions in the transport chapter of the plan however the key metrics or tactical initiatives identified for and up to 2030 are as follows:

Suffice to say – we are entering a period of rapid and unparalleled change in the transport sector.  The International Energy Agency reports that it expects global transport to double, however, major technological innovations can help offset this rise in demand. As the world shifts towards lower-carbon electricity sources, the rise of electric vehicles and the development of biofuel alternatives offer a viable option to reduce emissions.

Decarbonising Wexford

Wexford County Council are committed to addressing their environmental impact, conserving resources and improving their bottom line through efficient energy management. Certification for the international, best practice Energy Management Standard ISO 50001 was achieved last year further paving the way towards better energy efficiency and carbon targets for 2030 and beyond. Wexford County Council achieved over 39% improvement in energy performance up to 2020 exceeding the 33% target (as outlined in the SEAI public sector Annual report 2021 published in February 2022).

Electric Vehicles

Wexford County Council own and operate a fleet of over 250 vehicles to carry out their service delivery plan to the county. They are leading the way in the drive towards decarbonising their working fleet. It is estimated that 12-15% of the fleet of 250 vehicles is considered suitable to change over to EV

The first EV was purchased three years ago. There are now six fully electric vans servicing the county, three electric forklifts have replaced three diesels. One van has been placed at Wexford County Hall and three are for general use in the machinery yard. Another van is being used by the fire service and lastly one by the environmental warden. Hugh Russell, the machinery yard manager, is very impressed with the vehicles saying that the EVs were first put in place as run-abouts so that staff could experience what they are like for themselves. “They have been very well received, they’re easier to use with their stop/go pedals and are a smoother and quieter drive.”

Work is ongoing to help identify the next top ten vehicles to be replaced. Issues taken into consideration include the availability of off-street parking, employee buy-in, expenses policy, human resources and industrial relations. Community warden vans are being assessed for the transition to EV and an EV pickup is coming on trial soon. This vehicle will be suitable for many applications and can tow a 750kg trailer.

Currently, Wexford County Council are also looking at developing the infrastructure needed to serve these vehicles. They are looking at perhaps leaving these vans to charge in depots, the housing section are also to come on board with requirements for small vans and the infrastructure/facilities to charge them. EV chargers are currently installed in the following locations

  1. Four Double EV Chargers fitted to WCC County Hall (1x22Kw and 3x 7kw)
  2. Three Double 7kw EV Chargers fitted to Enniscorthy Machinery yard
  3. Double 22kw EV Chargers fitted to Wexford fire station
  4. Double 22kw EV Chargers fitted to Gorey fire station
  5. Two x Double 22kw EV Chargers being fitted to Whitemills depot, Wexford at present
  6. Gorey civic office considering chargers
  7. NR & EY civic offices to be assessed for EV chargers

New Public EV charging stations are confirmed for Kilmore Quay, Curracloe and Carrigfoyle. A gap analysis will be carried out in 2022 for even more installations throughout the county.

 

Direct Comparison

The EV used by the environmental warden, an LDV Maxus e-Deliver 52.5kWh panel van replaced a diesel – 2017 Citroen Berlingo. Data from both vehicles were analysed covering a period of six months and 15,852km.

Just like petrol or diesel engine cars, the consumption of EVs depends on the model and the manufacturer, however, to measure the fuel (electricity), we calculate how many kilowatt hours it takes to move an EV from one point to another in the same way as we would calculate how many litres of petrol/diesel is used to do the same work. An electric vehicle is more energy efficient, and a cleaner source of energy given that an EV directly converts electricity into movement. A conventional petrol/diesel must burn fuel (creating heat and dirt/smoke as a by-product) and then convert that heat into motion thus making the process less efficient.

Using the same data, it was found that the EV was indeed outperforming its predecessor on every level. Emitting 39% less CO2 and using 35% less energy to do the same work. Using today’s fuel costs of €1.676/Litre for diesel and €0.240/kWh for electricity a comparison was made for the same distance over the 6-month period, a saving of €734.30 was recorded. The EV was using 19.88kWh of energy to travel 100km whereas the diesel van was using 57.06kWh to travel the same distance.

Carbon Emissions

Emissions data for the 34 diesel vans analysed in this study from May 2020 to January 2022 total 408 Tonnes of CO2. That is equivalent to the carbon emitted by driving over 1 million miles in an average petrol car and the same amount of carbon stored by 6700 newly planted trees over 10 years. The graph below shows CO2 emissions during this time. We can also see the dip in vehicle use during 2020.

CO2 emissions from a fleet of 34 diesel vans

 

Using the emission figures from the 34 diesel vans and replacing them with the emission figures of the LDV Maxus e-Deliver 52.5kWh panel van we can see a substantial drop in emissions as shown in the graph below. If all 34 vans were the same EV van, then only 90 tonnes of co2 would be produced, a drop of 317 tonnes of CO2. The 90 tonnes of CO2 would only require 1400 newly planted trees to offset their emissions compared to 6700 trees needed to offset current emissions.

CO2 Emission Comparison between the EV and the diesel-fuelled van fleet

3cea Joins Engineers Ireland’s Sustainability Grand Tour

On February 25th 3cea joined Engineers Ireland’s Sustainability Grand Tour to present our Housing 4.0E initiative. The speakers for the event were John Carley, Alexandra Hamilton, and Ralf Kampe from 3cea, Sean Savage from Wexford County Council, and Colm Callery from Engineers Ireland.

The focus of the webinar was to discuss the aims of the H4.0E project, what it hopes to deliver, how it will achieve these goals, and to provide details from one of our sites in Wexford. One of the key objectives of this project is to reduce CO2 emissions in construction of houses by 60%. These Carbon emissions are known as ‘embodied’ and ‘operational’ CO2eq emissions. Operational emissions are those generated by running a building and “upfront ‘embodied’ emissions are generated by construction of a building. After a lifespan of 50 years, the upfront embodied CO2eq makes up 46% of the total CO2eq emissions and the operational emissions makes up 54% of the total CO2eq emissions. This shows that both categories are equally important and so we need to focus on the upfront CO2eq emissions as well.

Figure 1: Source: ©2016 2030, Inc. / Architecture 2030. All Rights Reserved. Data Source: Richard Stein, CBECS (2003).

To reduce these GHG emissions during construction, H4.0E looks to reduce carbon emissions by working with low carbon construction types and trying to use as much low carbon renewable building materials as possible. Factors such as low carbon design, logistics and procurement, materials, and insulation are all considered when designing these properties. By the project end, there are hopes that a digital platform will become available to perspective home builders to develop the plans for their property and estimate the cost and CO2eq emissions using the manufacture for assembly model. It is hoped this platform will also help reduce costs when building homes.

Engineers Ireland’s Sustainability Grand Tour is a series of webinars commencing on 20 January 2021 and consisting of approximately 12 webinars and panel discussions taking place throughout January to April. This series will seek to educate and empower engineers across all sectors to be drivers of climate action and will focus on topics ranging from road design to sustainable housing and energy efficient design. See below for a full list of the planned events and check out their YouTube channel for past events.

To learn more about 3cea’s activities in the Housing 4.0E initiative see here.

Better Energy Communities Grant

Everything you need to know about applying for Communities Energy Grant

What is Communities Energy Grant (BEC)?

3cea team has been successful in securing energy grant funding for communities and businesses across all sectors. Over the past 5 years 3cea has assisted in the delivery of cumulative energy savings of more than €19.6 million through the Communities Energy Grant (BEC) initiative.

Better Energy Communities is a national retrofit initiative managed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). BEC offers a win-win grant aid solution for parish halls, GAA clubs, farmers, charitable organisations, community groups, public authorities, individuals and businesses to both lower their energy bills while reducing energy usage.

How can 3cea help?

From initial application to final grant sign-off, we can project manage the entire process for you, this is why we encourage you to get in contact now to discuss your project in more detail.

3cea has extensive, award-winning experience and expertise in supporting applicants through the BEC pipeline, we act as your project-coordinator and energy advisor throughout the entire process. Our Team has achieved success through combining specific technical expertise and local community knowledge on hundreds of energy efficiency projects of scale since 2002.

Funding & Supports Available

  • Up to 50% funding for community projects, sports halls, community halls, community centers etc
  • Up to 30% funding for private businesses, large industry and commercial buildings, private companies
    Read more

Getting by in a time of crisis – 3cea Team working from home during Covid-19

Covid-19 has created an unprecedented economic and social shock for business and communities in Ireland. As the team here in 3cea rolls into our forth month of working from home, we rely on remote work tools and technology more than ever in order to stay connected.

Working remotely has brought us to a new set of challenges that has led us to adapt quickly. Between event cancellations, travel restrictions, webinar overload, personal concern about contagion and more, nearly everyone has been affected by this crisis in some way. Many of us are trying to balance working from home with the responsibilities of care. Event though it is our home environment, it is very new from a work perspective. This is the first time where so many of us are having to collaborate, operate and communicate remotely through the power of technology.

Technology can only go so far, and working from home is not for everyone the team here at 3cea are managing this new normal very well. We wanted to take this opportunity and share how well our colleagues are coping!

Read more

Energy and Rural Business Show preview: showcasing growing opportunities for on-farm renewables

Ireland has committed to producing at least 16% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 and the next Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) is said to be fully aligned with the need to prioritise climate action. Farmers looking to benefit from green initiatives are being urged to attend Energy and Rural Business Show, taking place at Hub at Cillin Hill, Kilkenny on 23 and 24 October 2019.

This year the show is boosting its offering by including both Energy Now Expo and Rural Business Expo, so farmers can hear from experts on diversification and the growing opportunities and grants available for on-farm renewables. Read more

Events

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