Eric Wright Group is two years ahead of schedule in meeting its electric fleet targets. The Bamber Bridge based property company was aiming to have 60% of its leased car fleet as hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric by 2025 but is now set to meet that deadline by 2023.
To support the Group’s drive to a fully electric fleet the power supply to the existing charge points at its head office on Sceptre Way is being upgraded and a further 20 charge points will be installed by next year. Thirty charging points are also being installed across its north west property portfolio.
Commenting on the plans to increase the number of electric vehicles in the fleet, Group Fleet and Transport Manager Steven Openshaw said: “Two years ago only 20% of the fleet was EV or hybrid but today our order bank is currently 95% electric and we’re proud that we will meet our 2025 commitments early. There are now far more model options available, an increased acceptance of the technology and significant benefit in kind advantages which have encouraged more people to make the switch. What we term “range anxiety’ is also being reduced as the region’s EV charging network increases and we are bolstering that by doubling the number of charge points at our offices and depots wherever we can.”
He added: “As each member of the senior management team exits their car lease contract they are converting to electric and 60% of our MDs now have electric vehicles. All of our employees, regardless of pay grade can choose a battery electric option. The commercial fleet poses more of a challenge as there are fewer suitable models currently available and the fleet vehicles do not always come back to base at night to recharge so we are undertaking a programme to see if we can add charge points at client sites and are testing a range of electric commercial vehicle options.”
Group Managing Director Jeremy Hartley added: “Right across the group we are reviewing our operational practices to see where we can make changes to support our commitment to carbon reduction including switching energy supply to a 100% renewable source. We set ambitious fleet target and are pleased to have met those early. We will continue to build on that success and introduce even more changes as swiftly as we possibly can including delivering programmes to significantly reduce travel to and from head office and studying telematics to improve driver safety.
“Our commitment is not only to staff who have a company car or our fleet drivers but to ensure we are fully inclusive and support every member of staff in reducing carbon emissions including those who have their own vehicles or who use public transport.
“As more young professionals join our business we will see a continued change in the type of accommodation they live in such as city centre apartments which might not have off street parking or on-site charge points. We need to make sure that we fully enable our young people to help in the drive to reduce carbon consumption wherever they can.”
Across the Eric Wright Group business Maple Grove Developments is helping its portfolio tenants to install electric charging points and Applethwaite Homes is also looking at how changing points can be designed into housing developments. At Water Park Lakeland Adventure Park, Eric Wright Charitable Trust’s community facility in Cumbria they are looking at options for electric towing vehicles and mini buses.
In 2020 Eric Wright Group received the Gold Standard Award from Carbon Saver for successfully reducing its carbon footprint for the 11th consecutive year.