16 of UK’s largest van fleet operators set to go electric

New analysis of research shows that pollution from older diesel vans has significant health damage costing £2.2 billion per annum to NHS and society, and this is a problem that is set to increase as vans are the fastest growing vehicle type in the UK.

With 75 billion miles driven each year by vans, they contribute a staggering 30% of the UK’s road transport NOx emissions, costing three times more per vehicle to the UK’s health than cars.

16 of the UK’s largest fleet operators, are responding to this issue by signing the Clean Van Commitment and investing an initial £40 million over the next 2 years to drive the increase in use of electric vans.

Launching today, the DfT backed Clean Van Commitment, led by Global Action Plan in partnership with Engie has 16 businesses signed up including Engie, Tesco, Anglian Water, Leeds City Council, Network Rail and Yorkshire Ambulance Service representing some of the largest van fleets operators.

The announcement comes ahead of the UK hosting the world’s first Zero Emission Vehicle Summit next week, where nations from around the world will come together to agree to support the development of and acceleration in uptake of green vehicles.

The commitment to source 2,400 electric vans provides manufacturers with the closest they will ever get to a guaranteed level of demand they can supply, kick starting the transition to fully electrify the UK’s 4 million diesel van fleet. The first batch of vehicles will deliver up to £55 million in lifetime savings from health costs in an area such as inner London.

The Commitment includes two targets. The first target is an immediate commitment to switching a proportion of their fleet by 2020 of 2,400 vehicles and a longer term commitment to deliver zero tailpipe emissions by 2028 of more than 18,000 vans if sufficient charging infrastructure and competitively priced electric vans are available.

This will not only help bring down the price of new electric vans it will stimulate the second hand EV market in 4-6 years which is especially helpful for the 2 million independent van owners who want to protect the communities they serve from air pollution.

UK businesses are sending a clear signal to Government, manufacturers and the National Grid that they are ready to go zero tailpipe emission. The Commitment by these businesses clearly demonstrates their pledge to cleaning up air pollution, and to protect the communities within which they operate.

To help more van fleets make the switch, the fleet operators recommend more charging points, tax changes that support electric vans, a greater choice of electric van models and permissions to add charging infrastructure to their depots.