Yorkshire Water expects to save more than £500,000 over the lifespan of its vehicles by switching 5% of its 1,000 vans to electric by 2020.
The company has switched to using electricity only from renewable sources - supplied by Engie - and has also bought its first 10 electric vans. At least 40 more will be acquired by 2020 to help reduce carbon emissions by 5%.
This commitment has ensured Yorkshire Water has become the first company in the water sector to be granted ‘Go Ultra Low’ fleet accreditation, which is a government and industry campaign to promote the benefits of electric vehicles.
Andy Clark, head of procurement at Yorkshire Water, said: “We’re really excited to be starting our journey towards a vehicle fleet entirely powered by renewable energy and are proud to achieve the prestigious ‘Go Ultra Low’ status.
"As a sustainability-focused business we recognise the need to lower our carbon footprint and play our part in delivering clean air in our towns and cities across Yorkshire.”
The innovation funded project will help offset 140 tonnes of carbon emissions per year and generate cost savings of around £536,000 over the seven-year life span of the vehicles.
Robin Heap, head of electric vehicles infrastructure at Engie, added: "We are delighted to be able to support Yorkshire Water’s decarbonisation and air quality improvement targets.
"Engie is already working in partnership with Yorkshire Water to deliver significant energy and cost reductions and this is another really positive step in achieving their sustainable energy strategy."
Currently, Yorkshire Water generates 12% of its own electricity from renewable sources such as anaerobic digestion.
The electric Nissan e-NV200 vehicles, which have a range of 70-100 miles before needing to be recharged, will support Leeds City Council’s Clean Air Zone proposals as it aims to reduce air pollution in the city.