MORE than 300 electric and hybrid vehicles are being added to the National Highways fleet.
A total of 307 vehicles, often used by traffic officers on motorways and major routes around the country, are set to cut around 250 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year and will come into service over the coming months.
The new vehicles include 31 fully electric zero-emission new Hyundai Kona used for general maintenance and inspection pool cars and 65 ultra-low emission KIA Xceed Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) to replace some existing vehicles used to conduct structural surveys.
More than 180 ultra-low emissions PHEVs for traffic officer operations across the country have already been introduced, with another 24 on the way.
Maintenance and inspection vehicles allow staff to search for defects, monitoring the progress of ongoing maintenance activities and repairs, ensuring these have been completed to the correct standard whilst supporting our commitment to smooth and reliable journeys for our customers.
The PHEVs for traffic officers provide 4×4 capability and support a target to clear 86 per cent of motorway incidents within one hour, while reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
Finally, the company has also introduced Kia Xceed PHEVs to replace some of its existing diesel vehicles used by teams to conduct surveys of gantries, bridges and other structures across the Strategic Road Network (SRN).
Steve Elderkin, director of environmental sustainability for National Highways, said: “We are delighted to be modernising our fleet with the 307 state-of-the-art vehicles that will not only reduce our emissions but also ensure that journeys are smooth and reliable.
“As a company, we operate more than 1,300 vehicles so introducing so many new electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids really helps accelerate our journey to net zero, drastically cutting our emissions.
“Our net zero plan has laid out how we want to hit net zero for our own emissions by 2030, with a commitment that our non-traffic officer vehicles will be 100% electric by 2027 and traffic officer vehicles to be 100% electric by 2030.
“This is a huge step towards that commitment, and we will continue to invest in green and electric vehicles as the technology becomes available, meeting the Government’s Road to Zero strategy.”
Andy Butterfield, National Highways’ operations customer service director, added: “Our fleet supports the safe operation and ensures the network remains in a good condition.
“Our front-line operational teams provide a 24/7, 365 days a year service and play an integral part of our operation.
“These vehicles will not only withstand the rigours of the role but are also cost effective, versatile, reliable and greener.”
For more on National Highways’ net zero plan, visit nationalhighways.co.uk/netzerohighways.