Openreach has begun working with EV payments specialist Mina and grounds maintenance firm Ground Control to support its fleet electrification plans.

The business is aiming to electrify its fleet of over 30,000 vans, and as each of its engineers switches into an electric van, they are being signed up to Mina’s EV payment and charging platform so all their home charging is paid for by Openreach.

Because the majority of its engineers take their vehicles home, Openreach needed a payment process that accurately paid for every single charging cost based on the many different home electricity tariffs of thousands of employees, as well as being able to audit and report on those charging events for its own financial and sustainability processes.

Openreach senior manager for sustainability Andrew Kirkby (pictured) said: “Our engineers work in every community in the UK, which is why we have the second largest fleet – with over 30,000 vans.

“Today our vans are mostly diesel but we’re determined to switch to electric or zero emissions by 2030.

“We’ve already got over 1,500 EVs and it’s exciting to be working with Mina to make charging payments simpler and more accurate for our engineers and help us meet our target.”

Using Mina also allows Openreach to look at driving habits and the operational efficiency of its electric vans.

Kirkby said: “Because we can see every charge through the online Mina Fleet Portal, and the speed, efficiency and cost of it, what we’re able to do is encourage our engineers to use the public network less and cheaper home charging more.”

Mina CEO Ashley Tate said: “It’s great to be working with Openreach and helping them to achieve their 2030 Net Zero target. Maximising home charging is key to ensuring a successful transition with lowest possible operating costs for any fleet, and having the opportunity to work with Openreach, the largest return to home fleet in the UK is something we’re very proud of.

“At Mina, we’ve been able to not only help engineers move to electric far more easily but then, once they are up and running, pay for their charging simply and also provide data that helps the fleet run far more efficiently and effectively.

“It has also shown just how scalable Mina is, from a company with a handful of vehicles to one with tens of thousands. It works exactly the same for all. We pay drivers’ home energy suppliers directly so the driver never has to claim expenses or budget for higher electricity bills. No driver is ever out of pocket as a result, and that makes electrification a much easier process for businesses.”

As for Ground Control, it is supplying and installing home chargers for Openreach drivers.

Ground Control senior operations manager Tom Goodman said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be working on an EV transformation project of this scale. Openreach and Mina are fully committed to this process, making it as easy as possible to get these engineers into electric vans.”