Bromford has taken delivery of its first electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans, as it begins a phased approach to electrifying its fleet.
The 15 electric vans, which have just arrived are part of the first phase of the electrification of the housing association’s fleet, which will see the arrival of 32 vans being used by its service delivery engineers over the weeks ahead.
The Wolverhampton-based business, which operates a fleet of 430 vans, aims to complete a second rollout of up to a further 50 additional vans before the end of the year.
Bromford’s fleet of vans clocks up 6.5million miles every year as its staff carry out repairs and improvements to its 44,000 homes across the central and south west of England.
Neville Meakin, associate director for commercial and logistics at Bromford, said he was “delighted” to see the first electric vans arrive.
“The benefits of electric vehicles are obviously clear,” he added. “They’re cleaner, they’re safer and they’re quieter. But the biggest advantage is to the environment and this is absolutely the reason why we are doing this.”
Meakin says that the business has taken a “prudent approach” to moving to an electric fleet by doing it in phases, with an aspiration to have 90% of our fleet electric within the next five years.
“For now, customers will see our first 15 electric vans out on the road from this week,” he said.
Alongside the arrival of the new electric vans Bromford has installed charge points at employees’ homes and is planning to install further points at its offices in the future.
Drivers will also be able to find their nearest charge point through an app on their mobile devices.
“The vans are very fast charging and go from 0-75% in about 45 minutes,” Neville added. “They can do about 180 miles on a full charge and they can get extra boost using the regenerative braking system. And with fewer moving parts, there’s less that can go wrong, which should reduce the cost of repairs and maintenance needed on the vans as well as reducing their time spent off the road, making our engineers more efficient.”
The rollout of the electric vans is part of Bromford’s overall strategy to reduce its carbon footprint which has also seen the housing association reduce its office footprint over the past year and introduce new ways of working which will reduce the number of journeys employees make.