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Vodafone UK has set a target of eliminating carbon emissions from its 1,355-strong car and van fleet by 2027, the company told a webinar held by its fleet management partner, Arval UK.
The move is in line with a corporate commitment from the technology communications giant, and will see it beat the government’s 2030 plan to halt the production of new diesel and petrol engine cars and vans by three years.
Craig Login, Vodafone’s UK Property and Fleet Contract Manager, explained to delegates: “We have been quite aggressively pursuing an electrification strategy for the fleet over the last two years, driven both by demands for drivers for zero emissions options and an overall company objective to meet this target.
“We are now in a position where 98% of the cars ordered by us in 2020 were either electric vehicles (EVs) or petrol-hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and around two-thirds (66%) of the car fleet is now electric already!
“This is a positive development but we want to move things even faster if possible. Arval UK have been fundamental to our electrification process so far and we have now asked them to examine ways that they can move people out of our remaining petrol and diesel cars even faster, potentially before their replacement vehicle is due, and this would accelerate the process further.”
He said that an especially important component had been a switch to a whole life cost (WLC) based model recommended by Arval, replacing a previous method of basing choice lists on leasing costs.
“Without moving to WLCs, it would’ve been impossible to make a financial argument for electrification. However, using this more accurate and advanced kind of calculation, we can see that overall costs for EVs and PHEVs are very similar, if not better than their internal combustion engine counterparts.”
During the webinar, Craig added that Arval UK was also assisting Vodafone UK as it began the process of electrifying its van fleet.
“Adopting electric vans is potentially quite a lot more difficult than cars. Essentially, in order to satisfy the emergency call-outs we receive, we need the vehicle to be near to full charge at the end of the day, as well as at the start. This is a tricky issue but there are potential solutions that we are working through with the assistance of Arval’s consultancy team.
“One especially useful tool that we are using is the Vodafone Automated Telematics system, which is creating a lot of useful data about how our vans are used in real-world conditions. This information will be fed into our electrification strategy going forward.”
Arval UK Commercial Director and webinar chair, Paul Hyne, added: “With COP26 underway and the Chancellor’s new intention to drive forward net zero among UK businesses, we wanted to enable fleets to hear direct from one of the UK’s largest and most innovative technology companies on its strategic switch to an electrified fleet – and this webinar enabled us to do that.
“Vodafone UK’s corporate decision to achieve net zero three years ahead of the diesel and petrol deadline has spearheaded their fleet strategy and their journey is inspiring. This is one of the most rewarding partnerships with which Arval has been involved in recent years.”
To view a recording of the webinar visit https://bit.ly/VodafoneWebinar.