Councils and businesses make EV fleet pledge

OVO Energy, Oxford city council, Santander UK, Swansea University and Gatwick Airport are among the latest organisations to become ‘Go Ultra Low Companies’ – pledging to adopt electric vehicles in their fleets.

These companies join more than 100 other organisations across the country that have already signed up to the Go Ultra Low initiative, such as Britvic, London Fire Brigade and Microsoft UK.

Over 100 organisations have signed up to the government-back ‘Go Ultra Low’ campaign

Each has pledged that EVs will make up at least 5% of their vehicle fleet by 2020.

According to Go Ultra Low, some companies have ambitions to exceed this target: Santander UK, for example, currently operates 57 electric vehicles and wants them to represent 10% of its 1,400-strong fleet by 2020, while Oxford City Council says that 7% of its total fleet will be 100% electric by the end of the decade.

Go Ultra Low is a joint government and industry campaign to increase the uptake of electric vehicles. It is funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) working alongside the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and supported by Audi, BMW, Kia, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Low emission

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said: “The UK government wants every new car and van in Britain to be ultra-low emission by 2040, and the corporate sector has a huge role to play in achieving this goal. Forward-thinking organisations are well on the road to emission-free and low-cost motoring, taking significant numbers of EVs onto their fleets, learning where they are fit for purpose.

“Research carried out by Go Ultra Low last year found that a large number of user-choosers are keen to switch to electric and benefit from low running costs, tax incentives and a great driving experience. Go Ultra Low Companies are setting an example for others to follow, dispelling misconceptions around EVs at the same time as helping to improve UK air quality and reduce the country’s carbon footprint.”

On joining the campaign, Tom Pakenham, head of electric vehicles at OVO Energy, said: “We’re delighted to become a Go Ultra Low Company, as we are passionate about keeping emissions low and reducing pollution levels. That’s why our fleet is already turning green, with more than 20% running on electric.

“With the popularity of electric vehicles growing, we have recently launched an EV energy bundle for customers for at-home and on-the-go charging, enabling zero-carbon driving. We want to lead by example and by offering low emission opportunities for our customers and fleet, together we can embrace a greener future.”