Openreach starts electric van trial

BT mechanicEngineers at BT's Openreach division have begun trialling energy efficient electric vans, as part of BT’s commitment to reduce its global carbon intensity by 80 per cent by 2020.

Openreach has begun testing four electric vans in Milton Keynes and East London, and, if successful, plans to roll them out more widely across its fleet of 23,400 vehicles.

BT’s fleet management division has worked with green vehicle manufacturers to convert four zero emission vehicles that will be tested for a number of things, including suitability for engineers’ work patterns, battery life and energy usage.

In addition to being trialled in Milton Keynes, one of the first cities and towns across the UK piloting charging points for electric vehicles, the vans will also be tested at Openreach’s Stratford telephone exchange and nearby Olympic Park as part of Openreach’s role as the official telecommunications infrastructure partner and a sustainability partner for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

The vans have a restricted top speed of 70 miles per hour and can cover up to 100 miles between battery charges, considerably more than the average 60 to 65 miles per day covered by an Openreach van, on a normal day. The vans offer the same payload capabilities as an equivalent diesel vehicle, but with none of the environmentally harmful tailpipe emissions.