Openreach is using EV payments specialist Mina to support the switch of its 30,000 vehicles to electric in one of the biggest EV fleet transformation projects in the UK.
As each of the engineers working for the firm swaps into an electric van, they sign up to Mina’s EV payment and charging platform allowing Openreach to pay for all their home charging.
Andrew Kirkby, senior manager, sustainability at Openreach, 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.”
Openreach needed to put in place 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.
Ashley Tate, Mina CEO, 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.”
He continued: “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.”
Home chargers for Openreach drivers have been supplied and installed by grounds maintenance firm Ground Control, and Tom Goodman, senior operations manager at the firm, 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.”
Using Mina allows Openreach to look at driving habits and the operational efficiency of its electric vans. “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,” said Kirkby.
He says more engineers are going electric all the time, and the firm is undertaking a survey of all its engineers to understand who can charge at home to support the ongoing transition to EVs.
“The fact that fleets, the size of Openreach, are fully committed to EV transition shows that it can be done successfully, and at Mina we’re excited to be able to help facilitate the change by making one of the most complex elements - home and public charging - simple and accurate for both employees and employers,” he added.