VolkerWessels UK is marking World EV Day (9 September), by reflecting on the increasing use of electric vehicles across its business.
World EV day is a global movement, designed to raise awareness, drive change and highlight the benefits of transitioning to electric vehicles.
As it works to reduce its carbon footprint, VolkerWessels UK has seen significant growth in the number of both electric cars and commercial vehicles across the business. Since January 2021, the number of electric company cars in the fleet has increased by 56%, with an increase of 41% in the number of hybrid vehicles.
Spencer Ward, head of fleet, VolkerWessels UK, explains the business’ journey so far: “The adoption of alternative fuelled vehicles (AFVs) has been a fantastic achievement. We set an ambitious target to have 20% of our company car fleet transitioned by the end of 2020, and we exceeded this by some distance, by providing employees with key information on how this benefited them and how their decisions play a significant part in our carbon reduction strategy. In excess of 40% of the fleet is now AFVs and a further 89% of the orders are due to be delivered as AFVs. We are also working very closely with the manufacturers, the rental companies, our operational teams and their clients, to deploy alternative fuelled commercial vehicles, too. In order that our teams can deliver our clients’ needs, it is paramount that we have in place full appraisals of the carrying capabilities of vehicles, and that we ensure that we have established the appropriate charging infrastructure.”
VolkerWessels UK has recently upgraded the EVCP (Electrical Vehicle Charging Points) at its head office, in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. This is part of an ongoing investment to expand charging points across the group, and to embed electric vehicles within the business, encouraging employees and subcontractors to continue to use, and trial, electric vehicles across its operations.
The EVCP installation was delivered in-house, by VolkerWessels UK’s specialist EVCP installer, VolkerSmart Technologies - VolkerHighways’ Smart Cities initiative. VolkerSmart Technologies specialises in the design, installation and maintenance of EVCP for public and private sector clients.
VolkerHighways is also implementing environmental best practice across several of its contracts, including the introduction of electric forklifts, at its fibre communication installation contracts in Ipswich, Slough and Swindon, and the use of electrical telehandlers at its Brimsdown depot – all of which help contribute to a reduced carbon footprint. The business has also trialled plug-in hybrid electrical vehicles at its Wokingham and Havering, and Barking and Dagenham term contracts, as it seeks to reduce fossil fuel usage. VolkerHighways has also trialled a new electric road sweeper to maintain the streets of Windsor, improving air quality through zero emissions and reducing the environmental impact.
The increased use of electric vehicles can also be seen across other parts of the business, too, including on site on the M5 at Oldbury, where VolkerLaser is using electric vans to cover its geographically widespread work locations.
In VolkerFitzpatrick, the move towards electric vehicles is firmly on the agenda, as its head of HSEQS, Andy Battye, explains: “Meeting our carbon reduction targets will involve a focus on shifting our reliance on diesel- and petrol-fuelled vehicles, to hybrid and electric vehicles.
“The electric vehicle market is constantly evolving, and we recognise that, by investing in new fleet and charging point installations, we are fulfilling our responsibility by providing better, more convenient amenities for our employees, whilst also demonstrating our environmental commitment.”
And VolkerStevin is no exception to this trend across the wider business, as it, too, embraces the move towards a growing electric fleet. Its head of sustainability, Lucinda Farrington Parker, explains: “We are installing EV charging points on sites wherever feasible, and connecting them to the mains electricity supply. We have a number of electric vans in use on our projects and 90% of company cars on order are either hybrid or fully electric.”
For more information about World EV day, visit https://www.worldevday.org