Switch to electric service vans

Lely strives towards circular dairy farming. To set a good example, we are raising the bar in sustainability as well as within our way of working. A programme has already begun in which Lely commits to becoming carbon neutral in our own operations by 2030. We have bundled initiatives from different departments and expertise to create a series called Sustainability Stories. With these stories, we plan to showcase our sustainable and circular projects. In this story we highlight the switch to electric service vans. 

We spoke to Guillaume Chabra, center manager at Lely Center Armor. 


A non-fossil-fuel lease fleet by 2030 is part of our action plan for carbon neutrality. As of 1 July 2023, we introduced a new leasing policy for passenger cars, valid for Dutch Lely Campus, and the Dutch Lely Centers in Heerenveen and Zevenbergen. The policy states that only electric vehicles can be chosen as new passenger lease cars for these entities. In addition to passenger cars, we are exploring the use of electric service vans as a means to further reduce our CO2 emissions. In 2023, we started a pilot with an electric service van (EV) at Lely Center Armor in France. Guillaume: ‘Our service technicians do a lot of mileage when they visit customers, so driving an electric service van could be a good solution for lowering CO2 emissions’. 

Lessons learned 

Once the pilot had started, the Lely Center soon noticed that the solution was not performing as expected. Guillaume: ‘Our service technicians transport spare parts, and the fact that they can be quite heavy has a negative effect on the vehicle battery. As a result, we have experienced that the range of the van is too limited for our services’. This is exactly what pilots are for: implementing an idea and evaluating the experiences and lessons learned. Guillaume: ‘EV may provide a good solution for the city, but the technology is not yet appropriate for our service technicians and their needs. Because our service area is so extensive, there are unfortunately no EV options with sufficient range at the moment’.

Through this pilot, we have become aware of these practical limitations, and we are now better able to identify the service activities for which this electric vehicle could be a good match. After evaluating our lessons learned, we plan to expand this pilot in two of the Dutch Lely Centers in 2024.  

Why Lely?

Farmers all over the world make choices about how they set up and run their farms. Every day, we help them make the best choices for themselves and their farms. We do this by providing advice and innovative solutions that contribute to efficient farm management. For sustainable milk and meat production. Present and future.