Case Study: Yorkshire Water

Yorkshire Water is committed to achieve net zero carbon by 2030, which includes electrifying the 1,400 vans in its fleet. The utility company, which has secured Go Ultra Low fleet accreditation, has made a strong start, investing in Nissan e-NV200 electric vans. It estimates that the vehicles will reduce total fleet emissions by five per cent and generate savings over their seven-year life span.

Yorkshire Water is developing a 10-year plan to decarbonise its fleet, including introducing electric vehicles and piloting the use of CNG and hydrogen power. In order to identify the most appropriate next steps in its strategy, the water company turned to EV fleet analysis specialists The Algorithm People for assistance.

Natalie Hughes, Director of Partners and Corporate Accounts for The Algorithm People, said: “Yorkshire Water is deeply committed to sustainability, as shown by its pledge to reach net zero by 2030 and its use of renewable energy. Our role is to provide analysis to support that vision, by providing the data that can enable our client to make clear, evidence-based decisions on the next steps.”

Using its unique EV tool kit, the company analysed journey data from a sample of 100 vans in Yorkshire Water’s fleet. Drivers take the vehicles home after their shifts, so the analysis was based on recharging the EVs overnight. The conclusions surprised everyone: based on the real-world range of electric vans, 88 per cent of all vehicles in the sample were suitable for electrification. Furthermore, 95 per cent of all daily routes could be achieved without the need for a top-up charge.

David Hibbs, Head of Fleet for Yorkshire Water said: “The analysis from The Algorithm People gave us exactly what we wanted – clear, evidence-based answers to the question of how much potential there is to electrify our fleet.”

The company has been working to reduce carbon emissions since 2014 and in 2019 it reported an 80% reduction in operational emissions, compared to 2005.  It has made substantial investment in anaerobic digestion technologies to generate renewable energy from sewage sludge that is used to power its operational sites, as well as committing to buying only certified renewable energy. This means that its electric vehicles (EVs) will deliver the best possible reduction in emissions.

“The results really gave us food for thought,” added David. “There is further work to be done to get the complete picture from our entire fleet, but it is a fantastic start.”