Businesses lead charge in electric vehicle take-up

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A group of 11 UK organisations are the first to be awarded ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status, including Microsoft UK, University of Birmingham and London Fire Brigade,  for leading the electric vehicle (EV) revolution by using electric cars and vans in their day-to-day activities – and pledging to buy even more.

The new Go Ultra Low Company initiative is aimed at encouraging UK businesses to take up EVs across their fleets and has been endorsed by both Government and the car industry, setting the new ‘green standard’ for business motoring.

Public and private sector organisations that already use EVs, or offer them to employees as company cars, are eligible for Go Ultra Low Company status, providing they have a commitment to make up at least 5% of their vehicle fleet with EVs by 2020.

This qualifying criteria mirrors Government forecasts that EVs will represent 5% of total UK new car registrations by the end of the decade. The Government has earmarked over £600m until 2020 to support the plug-in vehicle grant, expand the charging infrastructure, and boost the electric car industry.

Amongst the companies setting the new standard, the London Fire Brigade runs a car fleet of 57 vehicles, 100% of which will become electric in 2016.

The University of Birmingham, meanwhile, operates 15 plug-in cars and vans, representing 16% of its total fleet. And currently, 6% of Microsoft UK’s fleet are EVs, with plans to increase this share to 15% by this October and 20% by April 2017.

Katie Colledge-Price, UK Car Benefits Manager, Microsoft UK, said: “Microsoft UK first started offering electric vehicles as company cars five years ago, as we could see the relevance of the new technology and the potential long-term cost savings. The variety of EVs available now means there’s something for everyone – and we’re delighted with the response we’ve had and continue to hear from our employees.”

Monica Guise, Sustainable Logistics Manager, University of Birmingham, said: “The University of Birmingham is actively committed to seeking innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions from its transport fleet and has seen a number of benefits through the use of electric vehicles. Being part of Go Ultra Low enables the University to share its best practice and learnings with other organisations looking to incorporate the use of electric vehicles in their day-to-day activities.”

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, added: “It’s fantastic to see organisations from across the public and private sector leading the way in the uptake of electric vehicles.  We want to encourage every business in the UK adopt these vehicles into their fleets and offer their employees the chance to drive or own an electric vehicle.”

EV registrations to UK businesses were up 36% during the first four months of this year, with more than two thirds of electric vehicles bought today going to corporate and public sector organisations – once again highlighting the important role companies play in adopting low emission technology.

The Go Ultra Low campaign exists to help UK organisations and motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the raft of electric vehicles on the market. The collaborative campaign is the first of its kind, bringing together a consortium of vehicle manufacturers, Government and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The first 11 organisations to receive Go Ultra Low Company status are: AMT Vehicle Rental; Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust; Environment Agency; Fleetdrive Electric; eConnect Cars; Gnewt Cargo; Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service; London Fire Brigade; Manchester Metropolitan University; Microsoft UK and University of Birmingham.

Any UK-based company that would like to put itself forward for Go Ultra Low Company status, can do so by clicking here

(https://www.goultralow.com/company-cars-and-fleet-vehicles/)