Sixteen of the UK's largest van fleets are set to go electric in a bid to kickstart the replacement of the UK's 4 million vans and clean up air pollution from vehicles.  

Initial signatories to the Clean Van Commitment, which is backed by roads minister Jesse Norman, include ENGIE, Tesco, Anglian Water, Leeds City Council, Network Rail and Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

The commitment, an initiative that came out of the Clean Air Day air pollution campaign, will see an initial investment of £40 million over the next two years. 

The annual health cost to the NHS and wider society from older diesel vans is £2.2 billion, according to research commissioned for Clean Air Day 2018. This is a problem that is set to increase as vans are the fastest growing vehicle type in the UK. Vans contribute 30% of the UK’s road transport NOx emissions, costing three times more per vehicle to UK health than cars.

"These 16 fleets will pave the way for the national fleet of 4 million vans to become zero emission, significantly improving the air we all breathe,” says Bex Bolland, Head of Air Quality at Global Action Plan, the charity behind Clean Air Day. 

Read the full press release (PDF)