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Recent Quartix vehicle tracking customer, University of Birmingham, has surpassed its pledge to switch 40% of its fleet to electric/alternative fuel by 2020. Chris Lane, Operations Manager of Postal, Portering & Transport Services, tells us how the 4th largest UK university, complete with its very own train station, overcame the challenges of converting to electric powered transport.
Birmingham’s campus operates over 100 vehicles, ranging from mini-buses and vans, through to tippers and refrigerated vehicles. Due to the nature of the work, most of the fleet remain on campus and so the mileage is minimal. “We lease most of our vehicle on a 5-year basis which keeps any residual loss to a minimum and means we can easily upgrade our fleet”, says Chris.
In order to facilitate the shift to electric, Chris’ team handled any vehicle leases that were coming to an end and renewed the contract with an electric vehicle alternative wherever possible. “The smaller vehicles were much easier to switch, as they had lower costs attached to the lease”, Chris explains. As always with significant change, a degree of resistance was met from staff, but Chris worked with the teams to convince those who were unsure of the new technology. “We made sure to have an electric vehicle on site that people could try out and become familiar with the way it works. Once people had a chance to feel the way they drive and become familiar with the vehicles, they embraced the change.”
The university’s electric vehicles are charged with 3 pin plugs overnight, meaning guaranteed parking spaces close to the buildings for the EV drivers. So far, they have had far fewer issues with the electric fleet than their internal combustion counterparts.
Following University of Birmingham’s admirable shift to electric fuel ahead of its 2020 target, it has won several awards, including ‘Commercial Fleet of the Year’, the ‘GreenFleet award’, Fleet Manager of the Year and ‘Fleet of the Year’. Chris has also been named a GreenFleet Top 100 Most Influential 2020 figure and GreenFleet’s current Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year, in recognition of his achievements at University of Birmingham.
Quartix is proud to be supporting University of Birmingham with its vehicle tracking solution, to help lower emissions even further and to deliver more for less. Read about how University of Birmingham is using Quartix vehicle tracking to enhance its fleet operations in our customer case study.