Network Rail has installed the first dedicated EV charging facilities for its commercial road fleet and is trialling a fleet of fully electric vans for use across its network.
The installation of six charging points at Network Rail’s Swindon depot and a further three at its Bristol depot is being managed by Novuna Vehicle Solutions.
These 22kW 3 phase AC chargers, with a capability to fully charge electric small vans in under eight hours overnight, will enable 24/7 mobilisation of engineers to perform on-site maintenance and repairs at locations across the rail network.
This will be followed by further installations at designated sites in Cardiff, Derby, Doncaster, Glasgow, Newcastle, Sandwell & Dudley and Shrewsbury.
It will support the trial of 25 fully electric small vans added to Network Rail’s EV fleet as part of the organisation’s ‘Project Zero’ plans to electrify its entire fleet to meet Department for Transport decarbonisation targets by 2027.
The project to install 24 sockets, across nine sites over a two-year period runs alongside the existing £136m fleet management contract with Network Rail which has seen Novuna Vehicle Solutions overseeing the management of the organisation’s entire owned and leased road fleet, as well as sourcing and supplying more than 3,000 lease vehicles since 2019.
Willie Crawford, Head of Road Fleet, Network Rail, said, “Project Zero is a significant undertaking for Network Rail, as we progress further on our electrification journey.
“Installation of charging points at our Swindon and Bristol depots supported by a fleet of fully electric vans with further installations to follow at a number of additional sites significantly enhances our mobility capability to service the rail network through our ever expanding zero-emission fleet.”