The vans are being used in the London boroughs of Croydon, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham to support FM Conway’s highway term maintenance contracts with the councils.
Two Nissan e-NV200 plug-in vans, leased from commercial vehicle rental specialist Enterprise Flex-E-Rent, need re-charging every three days.
It is intended that their use in and around the capital will demonstrate the viability of zero emissions electric vehicles ahead of the introduction of London’s ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) in April 2019.
This latest initiative between FM Conway and Enterprise follows a £7m investment by FM Conway in its owned fleet earlier this year to ensure its liveried vehicles meet the required emissions standards before the introduction of the ULEZ.
“FM Conway has always strived to be at the forefront of fleet innovation in the construction industry, whether to lead on road safety standards or showcase best practice in reducing carbon footprint," said John Tobin, FM Conway’s asset manager. “When we started to talk to Enterprise about electric vans, it became clear that on both sides we wanted to demonstrate how they could be effective as part of a sustainable working fleet.
“Many companies that invested early on in electric vans found that it can take time to identify the right applications for them in day to day work. This trial is helping us to see how we can integrate more electric vehicles across our business and we have recently installed electric charging points at our vehicle depots to pave the way for further investment.”
He added: “So far, the two vehicles have been a huge success. Our drivers are recharging them about once every three days. They look and are used exactly like every other van in our fleet – except, of course, with zero emissions.”
Enterprise Flex-E-Rent managing director Danny Glynn said: “Many organisations are still unclear about the role that electric vehicles play within a working fleet, given current costs and the charging infrastructure. This is why we were so keen to partner with FM Conway on this project. We wanted to demonstrate that there are clear applications for electric vans.”