Britain’s biggest electricity distributor switches to EVs

Britain’s biggest electricity distributor is taking steps to electrify its London-based fleet with a delivery of eight Renault Kangoo Van Z.E. 33 panel vans.

UK Power Networks will use the zero-emissions-in-use, 100 per cent electric Renault Pro+ commercial vehicles to maintain its electricity network that serves homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and EV charge points in and around the capital.

In line with UK Power Networks’ commitment to lowering its carbon footprint and improving air quality for future generations, the electricity network has plans to charge the vans using electricity that is solar generated at six of the locations. A total of 27 charge points are being installed at the company’s sites to help keep the vans moving around the clock.

In addition, the leading electricity distributor has added the all-electric Renault ZOE supermini to its company car scheme. It is the first time that UK Power Networks has added an EV to its approved car list and the development gives its drivers the option of switching to a more environmentally-compatible vehicle, while at the same time providing them with significant cost savings compared to running a conventionally-powered vehicle.

By adopting the Renault Kangoo Van Z.E. 33s and offering the Renault ZOE to its company car drivers, UK Power Networks believes that it will deliver an estimated 15 per cent cost saving over the life of the vehicle, with the savings originating from fuel usage, the exemption from Ultra-Low Emission Zone charges, and the availability of government grants.

UK Power Networks’ decision to opt for the Renault EVs was also influenced by employee feedback. Members of its team who live in and around London were particularly keen on the benefits that they would bring to their local living environment in the long term. Notably, many mentioned that widespread EV use would also bring significant health advantages to London residents, particularly children who are more susceptible to respiratory conditions.

Its usage of Renault EVs comes at a time when UK Power Networks is readying its operations for people choosing electric vehicles over ICE cars or vans. Nearly a third of EVs sold in the UK already connect onto the business’ electricity system and it estimates that this will grow to a total 4.1 million EVs by 2030.