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United Utilities promises green fleet in ten years

Water company United Utilities has set out a plan to switch its entire fleet of vehicles - including vans, HGVs and 4x4s - from diesel to ‘home-produced energy’ in ten years.

Water company United Utilities has set out a plan to switch its entire fleet of vehicles - including vans, HGVs and 4x4s - from diesel to ‘home-produced energy’ in ten years.

The company’s fleet currently consumes 4 million litres of diesel a year, but change is on the horizon. 

The fleet already includes four electric vans, eleven site-based electric vehicles, two full electric cars and two hybrid cars. Nine electric vehicle charging points have also been installed at sites, with plans to expand the network further.

‘Truly green solution’

Steve Fraser, chief operating officer at United Utilities, said: “Our teams need to travel the length and breadth of the North West to keep the taps flowing and the toilets flushing for our customers.

“Traditional diesel powered vehicles are not great for the environment, so our ambition is to migrate all of our fleet away from traditional fuels over the next 10 years. What is really exciting is our aim to power those vehicles with the energy we produce ourselves – a truly green solution.”

Partnership approach

To speed up progress, the company is working with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and the Northern Powerhouse to address the challenge. It has also partnered with charity Global Action Plan and several other large van operators to work together to accelerate adoption across the UK.

“We’re working closely with a number of external suppliers to make sure that we are at the forefront of new developments in the industry”, said head of fleet Adam Dooley.

“We’re really excited about our innovative electric wagon project which will be an industry-first. We are also investing in our apprentice mechanics - this year they will be some of the first in the country to train on electric vehicles.”