Sixteen of the UK’s largest fleet operators, including ENGIE are responding to the issue of poor air quality caused by vans in cities across the country by signing the Clean Van Commitment and together investing an initial £40 million over the next two years to drive the increase in use of electric vans.
The Department for Transport (DfT) backed Clean Van Commitment, led by Global Action Plan in partnership with ENGIE currently has 16 businesses signed up including ENGIE, Tesco, Anglian Water, Leeds City Council, Network Rail and Yorkshire Ambulance Service representing some of theUK’s largest van fleets operators.
The Commitment made by each of the inaugural signatories includes two targets. The first target is an immediate commitment to switching a proportion of their fleet by 2020 and a longer-term commitment to deliver zero tailpipe emissions by 2028. To date this means a collective commitment to source 2,400 electric vans, rising to a total of 18,000 vans if sufficient charging infrastructure and competitively priced electric vans are available by 2028. It is hoped that the move will not only help bring down the price of new electric vans, but that it will stimulate the second hand EV market in four to six years which is especially helpful for the two million independent van owners who want to protect the communities they serve from air pollution.
ENGIE has pledged that by 2020, 20 per cent of its UK fleet will be electric. ENGIE will introduce 395 electric vehicles across its UK business – 300 of which will be vans. In addition, the business will also ensure that none of its 1,800 UK vehicle fleet is diesel by 2025. These commitments are aligned with the Clean Van Commitment aim of becoming tailpipe emission free in cities by 2028. To date, ENGIE’s EV programme which began in 2017 is on-track to meet its targets.
Beyond the adoption of EV vehicles, ENGIE is also investing more than £600,000 into building an infrastructure to support these new electric vehicles, including charging points at its key UK offices, customer sites and in the homes of their employees.
Jamie Quinn, ENGIE’s Corporate Responsibility and Environment Director, commented: “At ENGIE we want to be leaders in green mobility and air quality solutions and committing to clean vans in our fleet is one way to make this happen. As well as making long-term financial sense for the business, the driving factor behind these commitments was the need to address poor air quality in urban areas, helping to improve peoples’ living and working environments. Crucially, ENGIE delivers services across many towns and cities in the UK and therefore has the ability to make a real difference. Switching ENGIE’s UK fleet to EVs will have an immediate positive impact on the communities the company serves and where its drivers work and live.”
Bex Bolland, Head of Air Quality, Global Action Plan said: “The CVC launch marks a significant moment for the UK’s van sector. For the first time, we know just how quickly van fleet leaders aim to adopt electric vehicles. Their collective purchasing commitments show manufacturers that demand is thriving, and will help energy sector, local authority and central government planning. These 16 fleets will pave the way for the national fleet of four million vans to become zero emission, significantly improving the air we all breathe.”