BT to trial electric vans to cut carbon output
The company's Openreach division has begun testing two electric vans in Milton Keynes and two in East London at Openreach’s Stratford telephone exchange and nearby 2012 Olympic Village.
BT’s fleet management division has worked with Allied Electric and Smith Electric Vehicles to convert two Peugeot and two Ford zero emission vehicles that will be tested for a number of things, including suitability for engineers’ work patterns, battery life and energy usage.
Openreach believes that electric vans could reduce vehicle fleet maintenance costs, as the engines only contain a few components.
Following successful trials, the firm plans to roll the vehicles out more widely across its fleet of 23,400 vehicles.
John Small, service delivery managing director at Openreach, said: 'This is fantastic news. If the electric vans trial is successful it will provide a great opportunity for Openreach to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicle fleet. Not only do they eliminate exhaust emissions, but the vans could deliver longer-term cost benefits and their quietness make them perfect for working in residential areas.'
The vans have a restricted top speed of 70 miles per hour and can cover up to 100 miles between battery charges, considerably more than the average 60 to 65 miles per day covered by an Openreach van on a normal day. The vans offer the same payload capabilities as an equivalent diesel vehicle, but with none of the environmentally harmful tailpipe emissions.
Mr Small concluded 'Last year BT reduced the amount of CO2 emitted as a result of travel and transport by more than 20%, by reducing the number of journeys made and increasing fuel efficiency. We hope that electric vans can add to our carbon reduction commitment.'