Highways England are currently funding an electric van trial across the UK: they have highlighted specific geographical areas of interest to assess the potential positive environmental impact of local companies changing to all electric vans.
Z-Tech Control Systems were highlighted by the Energy Saving Trust, a partner of Highways England, to help facilitate the introduction of two electric vans to two of their valued customers: Thames Water and United Utilities, utilising Z-Tech’s in-house expertise to install charge points at two sites.
Exhaust emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles leads to issues of poor air quality. Urban sections of England’s motorways have been identified as particularly significant due to their high density of traffic and proximity to large numbers of people. Highways England is playing its part in seeking ways to improve this situation by investing significant funds to improve the quality of the air around urban motorways.
The 6 month project is designed to explore barriers and opportunities to the adoption of electric vans for motorway users in order to understand the potential for improving poor air quality associated with urban motorways.
Thames Water’s electric van will be utilised around the Reading area, with their first Thames Water charge point at Reading Sewage Treatment Works and the United Utilities electric van is being used by their Operations Technology Team, to undertake work predominantly between Warrington and North of Manchester.
Luke Stanbridge, Z-Tech’s Marketing Director said: “This is really at a proof of concept stage as the national infrastructure around Electric Vehicles is improving at a rapid rate.
The fantastic support this project has had from all levels at both Thames Water and United Utilities, really shows that given the opportunity, the Water Industry is prepared to lead the way in supporting new initiatives.”
Jon Loveday, Group Commercial Director at Thames Water, said: “We’re always looking to find new and innovative ways to help protect the environment, whilst also improving our customer service and this is exactly that.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the results of the trial, and making Thames Water a greener, cleaner and more sustainable business.”
Paula Steer, Director of Operational Services at United Utilities said: “The global transport industry has taken phenomenal strides in developing alternative powered vehicles in recent years. Whilst there is still much to do, particularly in building the national infrastructure, EV adoption has arrived.
We began our journey to a cleaner powered fleet back in 2015 by installing a number of solar powered charging points across our region, replacing a proportion of our smaller fleet with electric powered vehicles and successfully trialling gas power in our larger fleet. Since then, we have continued to build our EV asset base and have further developed our infrastructure, which Z-Tech have supported with.
United Utilities recognises the opportunity a greener fleet presents as we continually minimise our impact on the environment and deliver efficiencies whilst helping life flow smoothly for our customers.”