Network Rail has installed its first dedicated EV charging facilities to be used with a trial of electric vans.

The chargers at Network Rail’s Swindon and Bristol depots will support the trial of 25 small electric vans, with both the vehicles and chargers managed by leasing company Novuna Vehicle Solutions.

The 22kW chargers are capable of supplying a full overnight battery charge for the vans, used by engineers to get to maintenance and repair jobs.

Further installations will be taking place at Network Rail facilities in Cardiff, Derby, Doncaster, Glasgow, Newcastle, Sandwell and Dudley, and Shrewsbury.

The project runs alongside the existing £136m fleet management contract with Network Rail which has seen Novuna overseeing the management of the organisation’s entire owned and leased road fleet, as well as sourcing and supplying over 3,000 lease vehicles, since 2019.

Novuna managing director Jon Lawes said: “Delivering workplace and depot charging solutions is a fundamental component of our decarbonisation strategy for fleets who are increasingly seeking on site charging to future proof their business operations.

“Despite the complexity of providing charging across multiple depot sites with the associated challenges of understanding the available electricity headroom at each site to overcome, the plan in progress to deliver charging infrastructure across multiple depot locations is already delivering cost and environmental benefits which support Network Rail’s journey towards a complete fleet electrification.

“By working together to provide Network Rail with an end-to-end decarbonisation solution, we’re helping them to achieve their fleet electrification targets whilst building on our established relationship which has already seen Novuna Vehicle Solutions become a trusted total assets solutions mobility partner.”