South East Water's Environment Team has joined a company-wide trial by investing in four new electric vans.

This initiative is part of the company's commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2025 and follows the purchase of an electric van and two electric cars earlier this year to join a number of hybrid cars already in the fleet.

The Environment Team’s new Nissan e-NV200s will be used to maintain and enhance the flora and fauna of company-owned sites, as well as by scientists taking water quality samples from rivers, streams and boreholes.

With a range of up to 187 miles, charging will be made easy thanks to electric vehicle charging points available at 10 South East Water sites in addition to public charging points situated across its supply area in parts of Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire.

Although the upfront purchase price is higher than traditional diesel cars, the low running costs and reliability of electric vehicles makes them an economical choice long-term, said Michael Moores, Head of Procurement at South East Water.

“Switching to hybrid and electrical vehicles is becoming more and more popular in the UK so we are keen to understand how we can use these environmentally-friendly options across our varied business”, said Michael.

“For the 2020 to 2025 period we are trialling a number of different electrical vehicles in different job roles to understand their constraints and requirements.

“Although the main driver for the trial is to reduce our carbon footprint, we are confident that the lower running costs and longer usable lifespan compared to diesel vans makes financial sense too.

“As guardians of the environment, we take our responsibilities seriously and I know that our employees are as excited as I am to be part of the move to electric."

Forming an important part of South East Water’s current business plan, the slashing of carbon emissions is just one of six new environmental performance commitments for the 2020 to 2025 period. Read the full plan at corporate.southeastwater.co.uk/businessplan

Catchment Scientist Max charges his new electric van at our company laboratory in Farnborough, Hampshire.

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