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FLT Myth Buster #1: Electric is the most environmentally-friendly fuel

Calor LPG powered Forklift truck
Andy Kellett, FLT Specialist at Calor, discusses the myth: Electric is the most environmentally-friendly fuel.

As the take-up of BioLPG – a renewable fuel – continues, the assumption that electric is the greenest fuel available for FLTs is being challenged more and more. BioLPG is created from ethically sourced feedstocks, and organisations even receive a certificate from the Green Gas Certification Scheme to demonstrate how clean the fuel is, which can then be used as part of a business’ sustainability credentials.

The fact that BioLPG is chemically identical to LPG is another big draw for fleet managers, as there is no requirement to invest in new equipment or infrastructure. BioLPG is simply a drop-in fuel for those already using LPG. For fleet managers with sustainability goals – which is becoming an increasingly key concern, as big brands across the supply chain choose and champion other businesses that are as equally eco-conscious as them – BioLPG is a quick and hassle-free way to help meet these green ambitions.

The exact reduction in CO2 emissions from BioLPG depends on the blend of the fuel with LPG. It offers minimum carbon savings of at least 20 per cent, and potentially up to 32 per cent. This is based on a blend of 40 per cent BioLPG and 60 per cent conventional LPG. The potential carbon savings are even greater if a higher BioLPG blend is used.

It’s also important to remember that while electric is often considered a ‘clean’ option for FLTs, this electricity will be mainly taken from the National Grid, with fossil fuels such as coal a part of this mix. A lot of this energy is not generated in a particularly efficient way, with much of the energy in coal and nuclear used to produce electricity simply lost as waste heat. Therefore, it quickly becomes apparent that electric is not as environmentally-friendly a fuel as many first believe.