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Major fleets go green as big business grasps electric vehicle opportunity

7 July 2019, 23:05 UTC 4 min read

  • Big Six companies Centrica and SSE set to switch fleets to electric by 2030 through The Climate Group’s global EV100 initiative
  • Facilities management company Mitie to roll out thousands of EVs by 2030 and 800 charge points by 2020
  • Centrica operates the UK’s third largest commercial fleet; SSE and Mitie also some of the country’s largest - with a total footprint of more than 21,000 vehicles

LONDON: Leading by example on the next big business opportunity for the energy sector, two of the UK’s major energy suppliers Centrica and SSE have today committed to switch their vehicle fleets to electric by 2030.

Alongside facilities services company Mitie, the major utilities have joined international non-profit The Climate Group’s global EV100 initiative, which brings together forward-thinking, committed companies from around the world to make electric transport ‘the new normal’ by 2030.

SSE has also committed to double its energy productivity by 2030 from a 2010/11 baseline, through joining The Climate Group’s EP100 initiative for energy-smart companies, delivered in partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy.

The companies represent some of the UK’s biggest buyers of commercial vehicles, with a combined footprint of 21,000 vehicles. Centrica operates the 3rd largest fleet in the country, SSE the 7th largest and Mitie the 8th largest.

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, said:

“With demand for clean transport on the up, energy companies are looking to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure as the next frontier of investment in the clean and flexible energy system – and there are huge business opportunities for those who get ahead first.

“These companies are sending a clear message that the direction of travel for transport is electric, inspiring their staff and customers to follow – every major business must do the same.”

Centrica (joining EV100)

As the operator of the third largest commercial fleet in the country, Centrica has over 12,500 vehicles globally and is one of the UK’s largest providers of energy for businesses and consumers.

James Rushen, Group Head of Environment for Centrica plc, said:

“The direction of travel for our fleet is clear and we’re proud to be supporting our customers and the wider industry as we continue to understand the implications of EV roll out at scale.

“With a global network of over 15,000 engineers and technicians, and expertise in designing and managing energy solutions through Centrica Business Solutions, I believe we are uniquely positioned to help other businesses make the shift to a transport system that is cleaner, more sustainable and more efficient.”

SSE (joining EV100 and EP100)

SSE plc is a major UK energy utility and is joining both the EV100 and EP100 initiatives to switch its fleet to electric and double its energy productivity by 2030.

Under EV100, SSE will switch its retained* fleet of 3,500 vehicles to electric and install charging points for its 21,000 employees to use.

As a member of EP100, SSE will double its energy productivity by 2030 from a 2010/11 baseline. To achieve this goal, SSE has already invested US$15.4 million on energy efficiency measures in its buildings and depots, leading to annual operational savings of at least US$3.7 million which go back into the projects. These include increased digitalisation and transitioning to cloud-based computing, which has already seen energy use at SSE’s data centre sites drop by 22% since 2016.

Brian McLaren, SSE Director of Group Change, said:

“Decarbonisation is at the heart of what we do and low carbon emissions from transport is critical if the UK is to meet its Net Zero targets.

“As a major fleet operator and property occupier across the UK and Ireland, the commitments being made through EV100 and EP100 are in line with SSE’s ambition to deliver low carbon infrastructure in a sustainable way.”

Mitie (joining EV100)

Mitie is the UK’s leading facilities management and professional services company. With its fleet responsible for 93% of Mitie’s carbon footprint, the company has committed to transitioning its fleet of 5,300 vehicles to electric by 2030, subject to the availability and affordability of the right vehicles and adequate public charging infrastructure. In addition, Mitie has committed to supporting its clients in joining the electrification journey.

The company has pledged to move 20% of its 3,500-strong small van and car fleet to EV and install 800 new charging points by the end of 2020 at both its office and client locations, as well as at employee’s homes. 

Simon King, Fleet and Procurement Director, Mitie, said: 

“We want to drive change in the facilities management industry and this is an important step in the effort to combat climate change. We want to ensure our sizeable fleet is as green and sustainable as possible and show other companies making the switch to electric vehicles is the right thing for their people, the planet and their pockets.

“It is challenging, but we all need to take responsibility for actions and commit to change. We are also keen to take our clients on the journey with us by supporting them to make similar moves for their own fleets.”