Power network helps SMEs make switch to electric vehicles

UK Power Networks has launched a White Van Plan to help small businesses get the infrastructure they need to convert to...

UK Power Networks has launched a White Van Plan to help small businesses get the infrastructure they need to convert to electric vehicles Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The UK’s largest electricity network operator has launched a research project to help small companies wanting to make the switch to electric vehicles.

Around 58% of new vehicles are bought be companies, making them a target for helping to achieve net zero carbon Picture...

Around 58% of new vehicles are bought be companies, making them a target for helping to achieve net zero carbon Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

UK Power Networks is appealing to the 80,000 small businesses in Norfolk and 70,000 in Suffolk to join a landmark project to help the UK towards net zero carbon emissions with an electric vehicle revolution.

As part of its White Van Plan research project it wants small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to voice their future needs for transport so they are not left behind in getting the electric charging infrastructure they need, whether they use vans, trucks, or passenger vehicles for their business.

MORE — Airport launches new coronavirus testing centre for passengersBusinesses can respond up to the deadline date of December 21. With 58% of new cars registered to companies, they are seen as key to helping the UK reach net zero by 2050, but while larger firms may have the resources and time to make the transition to Electric Vehicles (EV), some smaller businesses might not, says the firm.

White Van Plan aims to make it as easy as possible for them to convert to EV charging by creating a detailed picture of SMEs’ transport use in the region.

Transport is responsible for around a third of total CO2 emissions — but London, the South East and East of England are seeing a rapid uptake of EVs, says UK Power Networks, with more than 99,000 registered and the company forecasts that by 2030 there could be up to 3.6m.

UK Power Networks head of customer services and innovation Ian Cameron — who is based in Suffolk — said: “We know that small businesses will play a huge role in achieving net zero, and that each company is different with a unique set of needs and pressures.

“That’s why we’re asking small businesses owners and their representatives to get involved, and tell us what help they need and how they work. That way, we can understand what the switch to electric vehicles might look like for the sector, and develop products to support them.”

Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said UK Power Networks’ efforts to gain a detailed understanding of the needs of small businesses and the support they need to transition to EV was welcome.

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“Small businesses are committed to sustainability, and a gradual, affordable move to electric vehicles will be an important step along this journey,” he said.