Gareth Huw Davies

Green Technology

Is this the greenest fleet of company cars in Britain?

Company generates solar power to drive its all electric cars

RCS Printers, a printing company in Retford, Nottinghamshire, has bought six Nissan Leaf all-electric cars  for use by its employees. The cars will be powered with renewable energy, generated by solar panels recently fitted on the company’s roof. So this ought to be, near enough,  zero-emission driving.

Using the  slowest form of powering up, simply connecting to a domestic electricity supply,  the Leaf can take 12 hours to recharge. RCS Printers will do the job much faster. It has bought one of the quickest rapid chargers on the market, the AAB, capable of  replenishing the battery to 80% of its capacity in 30 minutes. It is said to be the first of these chargers to be bought by a private company in Britain.

RCS, which emplys 120, is backing its  ambition to be  among the most  environmentally friendly in its business, with action.

The company is likely to make big savings on fuel.  However,  how practical will a fleet of electric cars (EVs) really be?  Users of the Nissan Leaf,  on sale in Britain for just under a year,  are reporting  70 to 80 miles per charge,  which realistically means  salesman venturing no more than about 30 miles from head office if they are to be sure of getting back – unless there is a similar rapid charger in the premises they are visiting.

The  company is already reporting  a big  fall in its energy bills, through its solar panels and other energy reduction measures.  It reports a cut  in monthly fuel bills  of 65 per cent – from £11,000 to £3,500.

The company outlines its  eco-progress on its website.  It has  certification  to show that the foresters supplying  its paper mills manage their forests responsibly and plant  “many thousands of trees on our behalf.

“All our ink is based on clean vegetable oil and supplied in eco friendly packaging. We have on site mixing technology which allows us to produce pantone colours to pin point accuracy, making our waste close to zero.

“Our recycling is of an exceptionally high order and everything which we are unable to re-use is graded into a range of different categories and recycled or disposed of responsibly. We take a pride in looking at everything we do to make sure it is truly green rather than simply being slick marketing spin.

“It is easy to feel overwhelmed by climate change, but by choosing RCS  you can be certain that your printing is being responsibly produced.”


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