UK Power Networks introduces first electric vans to its London fleet

UK Power Networks (UKPN) has today (October 4) added its first fully-electric vans to its London-based fleet, in a bid to combat air pollution in the capital while reducing its carbon footprint.

UK Power Networks’ director of network operations Patrick Clarke with the company’s new electric vans at a school in London’s ULEZ

UK Power Networks’ director of network operations Patrick Clarke with the company’s new electric vans at a school in London’s ULEZ

The company has added eight Renault Kangoo vans to its London fleet this week, with the first journey by one of the vans having been made to Archbishop Sumner School in Kennington – an area which will be covered by the central London Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) from April 2019.

The vans will be based at UKPN’s depots in Brixton, Camden, Canning Town and Falconwood as part of a six-month trial, with a view to a wider proportion of the company’s vans being switched with electric vehicles (EVs) in the coming months.

Meanwhile, UKPN has also moved to add the first EV to its company car portfolio this week, adding the Renault Zoe to its listings in a bid to encourage employees to travel more sustainably.

“We are leading the development of a smart, flexible grid to support EVs, improve air quality and reduce our carbon footprint,” UKPN’s director of network operations Patrick Clarke said.

“Piloting EVs in our fleet and introducing EVs to the company car list is improving the environment for communities now and investing in the health of future generations. EVs will help further reduce our carbon footprint and boost air quality, which is especially important in areas where children live and play, near busy main roads.”

To support the EV switch, UKPN will install 27 EV chargers across 14 of its offices and depots in the coming month. It plans to use renewable power generated from onsite solar arrays at six of these locations.

The company claims that each of the new vans has a range of 75-150 miles per charge, with the eight vans set to reduce UKPN’s overall carbon footprint by 133 tonnes within five years.

From a cost perspective, UKPN predicts that the vans will collectively help the firm to avoid £34,472 in fuel costs, £10,352 in road tax and more than £92,000 in ULEZ penalty charges by October 2023.

In the van of the EV movement

The move from UKPN comes shortly after 16 other major businesses and organisations committed to replacing their van fleets with EVs by 2028.

The likes of Tesco, Network Rail and Engie made the pledge last month for the launch of Global Action Plan’s Clean Van Commitment, which requires signatories to collectively invest £40m in decarbonising their respective fleets over the next two years.

If the 2028 commitment is met, the Department for Transport (DfT) estimates that 18,000 new EVs will be put on the road. 

Sarah George



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