United Utilities is building up an ambitious plan to switch its entire fleet of vehicles from diesel to home-produced energy within the next ten years. The water company is aiming to reduce its annual diesel consumption from 4 million litres to zero.
Its large and varied fleet of vans, HGVs, 4x4s and plant equipment, is mostly powered by traditional fuels. However, the company has started on its journey to cleaner fuel three years ago and has already purchased four electric vans, 11 site-based electric vehicles (EVs), two full electric cars and two hybrid cars. In supporting this goal, it has also installed nine EV charging points across its sites and will expand this network further.
United Utilities Chief Operating Officer Steve Fraser said: “Our teams need to travel the length and breadth of the North West to keep the taps flowing and the toilets flushing for our customers. Traditional diesel powered vehicles are not great for the environment, so our ambition is to migrate all of our fleet away from traditional fuels over the next 10 years. What is really exciting is our aim to power those vehicles with the energy we produce ourselves – a truly green solution.”
United Utilities Head of Fleet Adam Dooley added: “We’re working closely with a number of external suppliers to make sure that we are at the forefront of new developments in the industry. We’re really excited about our innovative electric wagon project which will be an industry first. We are also investing in our apprentice mechanics – this year they will be some of the first in the country to train on EVs.”
UU has started working with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and the Northern Powerhouse to address the challenge of cutting carbon emissions and air pollution across the North West. In addition, it has also partnered with charity Global Action Plan along with several large van operators who are working together to remove barriers and accelerate adoption across the UK.