Go Ultra Low family expands

OVO Energy, Oxford City Council, Santander UK, Swansea University and Gatwick Airport are among the latest private and public sector organisations to become ‘Go Ultra Low Companies’ – signing-up to a clean, green motoring future by embracing electric vehicles (EVs).

These companies join more than 100 other organisations across the country that have already signed up to the initiative, such as Britvic, London Fire Brigade and Microsoft UK. Each has pledged that EVs will make up at least five per cent of their vehicle fleet by 2020. Many companies have ambitions to exceed this target: Santander UK, for example, currently operates 57 electric vehicles and wants them to represent 10% of its 1,400-strong fleet by 2020, while Oxford City Council says that seven per cent of its total fleet will be 100% electric by the end of the decade.

Claire Perry MP, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, said, ‘The UK is the third best country in the world at tackling climate change and we’re investing in innovative clean technologies to support the move to a low-carbon economy through our ambitious Industrial Strategy. This Government backs companies that make the switch to low emission vehicles through grants and incentives – it’s good for business, good for the air we all breathe and good for reducing the amount of greenhouse gas we produce.’

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said, ‘The UK government wants every new car and van in Britain to be ultra-low emission by 2040, and the corporate sector has a huge role to play in achieving this goal. Forward-thinking organisations are well on the road to emission-free and low-cost motoring, taking significant numbers of EVs onto their fleets, learning where they are fit for purpose.

‘Research carried out by Go Ultra Low last year found that a large number of user-choosers are keen to switch to electric and benefit from low running costs, tax incentives and a great driving experience. Go Ultra Low Companies are setting an example for others to follow, dispelling misconceptions around EVs at the same time as helping to improve UK air quality and reduce the country’s carbon footprint.’

Tom Pakenham, head of Electric Vehicles at OVO Energy, said, ‘We’re delighted to become a Go Ultra Low Company, as we are passionate about keeping emissions low and reducing pollution levels. That’s why our fleet is already turning green, with more than 20% running on electric. With the popularity of electric vehicles growing, we have recently launched an EV energy bundle for customers for at-home and on-the-go charging, enabling zero-carbon driving. We want to lead by example and by offering low emission opportunities for our customers and fleet, together we can embrace a greener future.’

Ian Bourton, fleet manager at Oxford City Council, said, ‘Our aim is to a make a difference to the local environment by reducing harmful emissions and improving air quality in the city. To this end, we look to provide sustainable alternatives for the vehicle fleet and encourage plug-in vehicles where possible, and currently have 17 on our fleet. We expect ultra-low emission vehicles to become increasingly popular as benefits are realised and positive word-of-mouth spreads.’