SSE brings in quartet of electric Renault Zoe vans

Utility provider SSE has introduced four Renault Zoe Vans into its fleet to replace several ICE vehicles, with eight more set to be delivered soon.

The introduction of the vans is part of SSE’s plans to electrify its commercial vehicle fleet and contribute to the company’s commitment to have ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.

SSE’s new Zoe Van’s will be used by its supervisors and team leaders to visit the company’s operational sites and developments throughout Scotland.

The Zoe Van has a range of up to 245 miles on a single charge, which enables SSE’s personnel to visit more remote areas, particular in the northwest of the country, where the charging infrastructure can be limited, while enjoying the refinements and drive associated with the Zoe E-tech 100% electric passenger car upon which it is based. At the same time, the dedicated load area allows operatives to easily and cleanly transport the specialised tools, wet weather clothing and PPE they require for their roles.

As well as enabling SSE to continue its drive to have 3,500 of its 4,000 commercial vehicles fully electrified by 2030, the Zoe Van will help the company to lower its environmental impact in terms of emissions and noise. SSE estimates that over five years each Zoe Van will save 23.5 tonnes of CO2.

In addition to the driving range of the Zoe Van, SSE’s decision was influenced by its whole life costs being lower than those of a similar-sized petrol car-derived van, offering significant savings in terms of fuel, VED and servicing costs. The spread and support of the Renault dealer network, plus the standard eight-year battery warranty, further enhanced the appeal of the Zoe Van to SSE, while its flexible charging means SSE’s personnel will be able to charge their vehicles at home without issue.

The Zoe Van were converted to SSE’s specification by Renault-accredited converter, Qi, which added details including a hygiene station and fire extinguisher. All were specified in Business trim, which includes such standard features as full LED headlights, automatic air conditioning, heated electrically adjustable door mirrors, cruise control/speed limiter, EASY LINK radio with 7-inch touch screen and Smartphone integration with Android AutoTM and Apple CarPlayTM. Completing the new Zoe Van is a wrap by Mediafleet.

Neil Chamberlain, SSE’s national EV manager, said: “As an EV100 company that is committed to switching its fleet to electric, and with our focus on renewable energy and making a significant contribution to building low-carbon electricity systems fit for the future, introducing the Zoe Van to our operations fits perfectly with our strategy and ethos.

“The range of electric LCVs has always been a bit of an issue in the past for the roles that these vehicles are used for, so that of the Zoe Van now gives us the option to make the transition and look at other areas where a van is traditionally used but there isn’t a need for a high payload. The comfort is a big benefit to our operatives and, for those that are negotiating the narrower, more demanding roads of the Highlands, the compact dimensions are another welcome bonus. With the Zoe Van we’re further lowering our environmental impact at no detriment to our operational costs or effectiveness.”

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Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now the editor of our three commercial vehicle titles: The Van Expert, The Truck Expert and Commercial Vehicle Engineer.

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