Load size has little impact on the Carbon footprint of your van

It is popular belief among van drivers and industry experts that the amount of weight a van is carrying will dramatically affect the CO2 emissions of the vehicle. A controversial report commissioned by the Department for Transport has discovered this is a common misconception and in actual fact the load size of a van has remarkably little impact on its CO2 output.

The shock findings are the result of research carried out by environmental consultancy AEA. John Norris, AEA Project Manager, explains: “On our test we found that a fully-loaded van weighs 50 percent more than the same van carrying no load at all. However, CO2 only went up by approximately 7.8 percent on the combined cycle.”

One of the more startling aspects of the report focused on the relationship between the aerodynamics of the van and the way this impacts on CO2 emissions. When a van is travelling on the motorway, aerodynamics has more of an impact than any other factor. Travelling at 70mph, a medium-sized van punches a large hole in the air in comparison to a smaller van, and is likely to push CO2 output up by around 40 percent.

There is hope among green campaigners that the report will be used to draw up a graduated taxation system which will penalise the use of large vans. However, such a system would have obvious limitations as smaller vans will be used to carry loads they are not necessarily designed for, which will undoubtedly affect road safety, as well as having negative ramifications for van insurance premiums.

If the price of your van insurance is set to increase make sure you do not accept the first quote you receive. Instead, get in touch with Van Compare - we compare van insurance quotes offered by leading van insurance providers to help you find the cheapest van insurance.

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