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The business end of sustainable transport

Continued funding support for our Plugged-in Fleets Initiative means we’re offering more businesses in England the chance to explore the opportunities available to introduce plug-in vehicles into their fleets.

One of the great success stories since the scheme began in 2012 is Fruit4London – a company who do exactly what you might expect them to, albeit with the key difference to most food suppliers of providing their services in electric vans. The company was featured in a BBC article last week, with one of the founders of the business  describing going electric as “one of the best decisions we ever made."

As well as being delighted with range and value, the company has seen the additional benefit of satisfying customers who wish to do things in a more sustainable way. The desire is certainly there among individuals and businesses, despite the often downbeat tone of the wider media towards the push to increased sustainability.

But back to the BBC article - a broader piece than just transport choices, looking at how businesses are making greener moves across the board. Also quoted is our low carbon expert Greg Shreeve on solar panels, and it would certainly be worth mentioning that investment in solar PV as well as an EV is a great way of driving carbon emissions and vehicle running costs down - while offering the chance of healthy return on investment for the electricity generated.

The aim of the Plugged-in Fleets Initiative is to get as many companies engaged with the idea of plug-in vehicles as possible, talk them through the support that’s out there, and influence take-up of the most appropriate vehicles for the needs of their particular organisation. It’s pleasing, too, when the work piques wider interest than our immediate English focus.

The project has been transferred to the European stage as Energy Saving Trust are the project coordinator  of  a Europe-wide business fleet scheme intended to increase plug-in vehicle take up in  urban areas on the continent. Full details of the project will be announced soon and results will be used to facilitate the transfer of best practice principles and incentives between member states.

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.

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