Vodafone UK has announced plans to transform its 1,355-strong car and van fleet to fully electric vehicles by 2027.
The decision, confirmed during an Arval webinar, will see Vodafone beat the government’s target of phasing out the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.
Despite the ambitious target, Craig Login, Vodafone’s UK property and fleet contract manager, said the company wants to move things along even faster if possible.
He said: “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.”
“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.
Login continued: “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.
“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: “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.”