Outsourcing firm Mitie has said 20% of its small van and car fleet will be electric within the next two years.
The company made the announcement after signing the Clean Van Commitment, which is made up of 16 major UK fleet operators, including Tesco, Network Rail and United Utilities.
The coalition has collectively promised to deploy 2,400 electric vans by 2020 and to replace 18,000 diesel vans with electric ones by 2028.
Its members want to signal to auto manufacturers that demand exists for the development of electric vans to replace diesel ones.
Last month Mitie announced it had ordered 400 electric vehicles for its fleet and will run over 700 by the end of 2020. They will start by replacing their small diesel vans with 100 Nissan E-NV 200 vans.
The company will also install more than 800 charging points at its offices across the UK and at ‘suitable’ home addresses of its drivers. They also say they are in discussions with suppliers to negotiate a deal for renewable energy, which they plan to make available to its electric vehicle drivers, as well as using at Mitie offices.
Chris Large, senior partner at environment charity Global Action Plan, which is behind the Clean Van Commitment, said: ‘Hardly a day passes without more evidence of the profound damage air pollution is having on the nation’s physical and mental health, especially that of the most vulnerable.
‘The Clean Van Commitment is paving the way for the UK’s 4 million vans to become zero emission and significantly improve the air we all breathe.’
Simon King, Fleet and Procurement Director, Mitie, added: ‘Recent climate change reports have warned that there are just 12 years left to limit climate change catastrophe so we all need to act now. Whilst we are pioneering the introduction of electric small vans and cars in our sector, we also need a viable option for larger vehicles too.
‘We’re keen to drive a wider effort to make all vans on UK roads zero emission.’