A number of the UK’s largest van fleet operators have made a commitment to switch to electric vans over the next 10 years – accounting for a combined fleet of more than 18,000 vehicles.
The Clean Van Commitment has seen companies and organisations such as Engie, Tesco, Able & Cole, Network Rail, Anglian Water, and Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust sign up to a plan that will see its fleet of diesel vans replaced with electric models.
As an initial commitment, almost 2,400 vans will be replaced with EVs by 2020, to kick-start the project and help drive market support from the government and manufacturers alike.
By 2028, the remainder of the diesel van fleet will have been switched to electric vehicles, with 16 organisations in total signed up to the scheme. Alongside those listed above, Defra, Gateshead Council, Leeds City Council, the London Boroughs of Hackney and Waltham Forest, Northern Gas, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Council and Direct Services, United Utilities, and Yorkshire Water, have also made their pledge.
Led by Global Action Plan and Engie, the project will welcome additional signatories for those businesses and organisations also wishing to sign up. The plan looks at infrastructure requirements too, and has included the requirement for the EV fleets to be charged from renewable energy, that power networks have enough capacity, and the charging infrastructure to be both accessible and reliable.
Chris Large, Senior Partner at Global Action Plan, said: “The Clean Van Commitment (CVC) provides momentum and much needed clarity for the fledgling electric van industry. Overcoming the issue of pollution from van fleets needs a team effort. We need new electric models coming to market, fleet operators to adopt them, and the charging infrastructure and clean electricity supplies to fuel them.
We asked industry what would help to reach the first milestone of 1% of the UK’s van fleet going electric. Knowing where and when electric vans will join fleets was one part of the answer. The Clean Van Commitment signatories have made their demand for electric vans clear to the market, and provided an invitation to central and local government, and the energy sector, to work through the barriers to adopting electric vans in their real-life scenarios.