Mitie has signed up to the Clean Van Commitment - building on its pledge to ensure that 20 per cent of its small van and car fleet is electric within the next two years.
Mitie launched its electric fleet strategy last month when it announced it had ordered 400 electric vehicles (EVs) to support the fight against climate change and air pollution. The company, which runs more than 3,500 compact vans and cars, will run at least 700 EVs by the end of 2020.
The Clean Van Commitment is a coalition of 16 major UK fleet operators, including Tesco, Network Rail and United Utilities, which has promised to deploy 2,400 electric vans by 2020 and to replace 18,000 diesel vans with electric ones by 2028.
Its members intend to signal to auto manufacturers that demand exists for the development of electric vans to replace diesel ones.
The UK's four million vans are a significant contributor to UK air pollution, which is an urgent public health issue on a similar scale to heart disease, smoking and obesity. Mitie is starting by replacing its small diesel vans with 100 Nissan E-NV 200 vans, but there are currently no workable solutions to replace larger vehicles.
Simon King, fleet and procurement director at Mitie, said: "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. While 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."