Spelthorne Council is committed to achieving net-zero, and we’ve identified transport as a key source of carbon production. In 2019, we began to look at ways to both reduce business milage and introduce low-carbon vehicles. To meet these goals, we set aside capital budget to support the purchase of electric pool and fleet vehicles.
We had two vehicles coming to the end of their life – diesel vans – and identified this as a great opportunity to introduce electric alternatives into our fleet.
Initially, we needed to ensure we had the right charging infrastructure. This meant installing charging points at two of the depots where the vans would be used. We also had to ensure that the vans would not only reduce emissions but meet our current needs. Our team assessed current vehicle usage to ensure we chose high-performing alternatives. We then submitted a small tender to suppliers who could meet our requirements.
The vehicles were delivered in 2020, replacing diesel models with an annual fuel usage of around 1000 litres a year. Our electric vehicles reduce our carbon emissions by six tonnes annually. An additional benefit is an improvement in local air quality which comes from reducing the number of carbon-emitting vehicles in our community.
We worked closely with our local team to educate them on the capabilities of the vehicles they would be driving every day. There was some early scepticism around electric vehicles, but the response on using the new vans has been overwhelmingly positive.
This journey hasn’t stopped with these two vans. As any of our vehicles – both pool and fleet – come to the end of their life, we’re replacing them with electric or alternative clean-fuel replacements. We’ve already introduced electric cars into the pool at our main office.
The Council is committed to achieving net-zero by 2030 and all of our vehicles will be replaced by electric or low-carbon alternatives within the next decade.
Understand your current usage – It’s important to replace high carbon-emitting vehicles with electric vehicles that provide similar usage and durability. The electric alternatives you choose must function as well (or better) than their high-carbon alternatives.
Build a robust charging infrastructure – It’s vital to understand your current electrical capacity at key sites and whether this will support a suitable charging infrastructure. Some sites may need to upgrade their existing electrical system to offer vehicle charging – this can come with significant costs and disruption.
Reduction in carbon emissions.