Speedy boosts fleet electrification plans

Speedy Services has kicked off the expansion of its fleet electrification plans after taking delivery of the first of 150 all-electric Ford E-Transit vans.

The first E-Transit Chassis Cab with a specialist dropside body is part of Speedy’s commitment to transforming its fleet with low and zero carbon models.

Vehicles are being run on four year contracts and the first of the electric panel vans will arrive from March 2023 onwards. The E-Transit features a 68kWh usable battery as standard, providing an official WLTP range of up to 197 miles. Rapid charging from a 115kW chargepoint will charge the E-Transit from 15% capacity to 80% in just over half-an-hour. With an 80% charge the van will have a range of 120-140 miles.

Speedy has a total fleet of 1,500 vehicles and 200 locations UK wide. The business has committed to investing in its fleet to ensure that most of its vehicles are electric vehicles by 2030, with more than 50% of its capex focused on hire products that help customers to reduce their own emissions. Of its total fleet, Speedy has 600 cars and it is aiming for all to be EV by 2024. The rest of the fleet is made up of 220 HGVs and then 680 vans.

Aaron Powell, Speedy Services fleet director, told Commercial Fleet: “Operationally it means we will be able to deliver a fully carbon free delivery and collection service to our customers. “This is the start of our EV journey to net zero. The delivery of the E-Transit means we’re now full steam ahead.”

Speedy trialled electric vans at its Leeds superstore first before forging ahead with expanding the electric fleet. The business used telematics data on diesel vans to help determine which vehicles could be swapped to EV based current operational needs. This is how Speedy came to the initial 150 electric vans figure. Powell said: “The drivers loved the electric van and it did the job and the range we needed. “It’s why we pressed ahead with the 150 orders with Ford, as we have a sole-supply deal with them.”

Speedy is looking to convert 50% of all its commercial vehicles to alternative fuels by 2030. Powell said the remaining 50% will be a case of looking to see how technology progresses. He said: “We have a target to be carbon neutral by 2050. We don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket and replace the whole fleet now and then two years after that the technology has moved on.”

Depot charging

Speedy is adding charging infrastructure at its depots ahead of new electric vans arriving in March next year. Depots will be installed with split 22kw chargers that can offer 11kw for each van. Powell said the business is also temporarily using Juice Booster cables connected to a three phase connection that can give an 11kw charge until the full charging infrastructure rollout is completed.

Getting the chargers installed is one thing, but another challenge that is proving a bit trickier to solve is the physical space needed at each depot to have vehicles overnight to recharge. Powell said: “Some of the space on our estates is limited. Central London for example doesn’t have enough room to park all the vehicles overnight.

“It’s tricky but we’re looking at how we can use on-street charging as a potential solution for instances where we don’t have enough space at the depot.” Speedy was recently ranked in the top 25% of companies for sustainability by ratings provider EcoVadis.

The business was awarded silver by EcoVadis in this year’s assessment, with the business scoring highly for its efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The company has signed up to the science-based targets initiative (SBTI), where emissions targets are certified to be in line with reductions required under the Paris Agreement. Speedy has also launched its net-zero hire centre in Milton Keynes, certified this year with an A+ energy rating.

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