A new specially adapted hybrid vehicle is about to take to the road in a bid to drive forward Openreach’s green ambition.
The six Ford Transit Custom PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) were adapted by Rivus Fleet Solutions, and combine plug-in technology with a petrol engine. The vehicles will be delivered to Openreach this month as part of a trial to determine how PHEV technology fits with day-to-day operations.
This comes shortly after The UK Electric Fleets Coalition, of which Openreach is a founding member, released its policy asks to the Government, asking for a target to be set for 100% of new car and van sales to be fully electric by 2030 (with exceptions for the small number of vehicles where this may not be possible).
Gary Harrison, Head of Engineering at Rivus, said: “The hybrid option from Ford is particularly interesting because we’ve seen the technology work for domestic use and now we’re learning for the first time about how it performs in the tougher world of commercial use.”
Gary adds, “We had one of the few prototypes of the Transit Custom PHEV and tested it for two weeks before making the decision that it would be a good fit for Openreach. The motor industry is currently going through the biggest change since the introduction of the internal combustion and it’s really exciting to be at the forefront of applying this change to the commercial vehicle sector.”
Clive Selley, Openreach CEO said: “Openreach is leading the charge on the transition to electric vehicles. Our order today is an important first step as we begin to move our fleet, which is the second largest commercial fleet in the UK, to being fully electric.”
Openreach Limited is the UK’s digital network business.
We’re 35,000 people, working in every community to connect homes, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, mobile phone masts, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world.
Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in the UK can be connected.
We work on behalf of more than 640 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, BT and Zen, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 27.5m UK premises.
Over the last decade we’ve invested more than £14 billion into our network and, at more than 185 million kilometres – it’s now long enough to wrap around the world 4,617 times.
Today we’re building an even faster, more reliable and future-proof broadband network which will be the UK’s digital platform for decades to come. We’re making progress towards to our FTTP target to reach 20m premises by mid-to-late 2020s. We’ve also hired over 3,000 trainee engineers this past financial year to help us build that network and deliver better service across the country.
Openreach is a highly regulated, wholly owned, and independently governed division of the BT Group. More than 90 per cent of our revenues come from services that are regulated by Ofcom and any company can access our products under equivalent prices, terms and conditions.
For the year ended 31 March 2020, we reported revenue of £5bn.
For more information, visit www.openreach.co.uk.
About Rivus Fleet Solutions
Rivus Fleet Solutions is one of the UK’s largest end-to-end fleet management companies. The company provides vehicles designed to suit individual sector and/or customer needs and a complete fleet management solution that includes servicing, maintenance, repairs, MOTs, mobile support, accident management, leasing, rentals and custom design services. All vehicle types are available with full-service support, up to and including HGVs. Rivus has also integrated new low-carbon technologies into its product range, with fully electric vehicles available too.