Edwin James Group has taken delivery of its first electric vans from Fleet Alliance, as part of a pilot scheme that will eventually see around 70 diesel vans a year being replaced with electric alternatives.

The new Citroen e-Berlingo vans are part of a feasibility study to convert the whole LCV fleet to electric power, and part of the group’s commitment to achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025, and net zero by 2030.

The engineering services company has a fleet of 230 vans, alongside 20 cars, which are already all electric.

Corporate services director Mark Longley (pictured) said: “Some 84% of our carbon footprint comes from our fleet so that is where most of our carbon reduction efforts are being focused.

“All our vans are fitted with trackers, courtesy of Fleet Alliance, so we know the mileages and the driving patterns that we carry out on a daily basis. What we are analysing now is when and where we can reliably make the switch to electric vans based on the available charging infrastructure and work patterns we perform.

“Not all our vans are parked up in depots, some are taken home overnight by our engineers. We are looking at the ramifications of home charging but that isn’t straightforward as some of our engineers don’t have access to driveways.

“Our vans are leased for four years and, as leases come to an end, we should be able to change around 70 vehicles a year, so that by 2027 the whole light commercial fleet should be electric which is in line with where we want to be from a carbon reduction viewpoint.” 

Fleet Alliance CEO Andy Bruce said: “We are seeing growing numbers of our customers looking to go down an electric route in line with their environment, social and governance timetables. 

“Some transitions are easier than others, while some need careful thought and detailed planning to make them happen.”