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Fleet expertise to help London van operators go electric

Date: 10 June 2009

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has signed up some of the biggest firms already using electric vehicles to help other companies make the step to battery power.

DHL, TNT Express, UPS, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury's and Speedy will share their experiences and help other organisations switch to electric power as part of the mayor's ambition to make London the electric vehicle capital of Europe. Johnson has pledged to deliver 25,000 charging points across the capital by 2015. Other promises include adding 1000 electric vehicles to the Greater London Authority fleet and a guarantee that electric vehicles will remain congestion charge exempt, along with the promise of help, advice and information for firms looking to get into electric models for the first time.

"I am thrilled to announce a partnership with some of London's largest fleet owners who are committed to using eco-friendly vehicles on the streets of London," said Johnson. "We are now going to work hand-in-hand with fleet operators to accelerate the take-up of electric vehicles, which are available to buy right now."

Van manufacturers leading the charge to electric power include Modec, Smith Electric and Axiam Mega.

Sainsbury's last week confirmed the order of another 50 electric vans from Smith Electric Vehicles, which BusinessCar understands will be delivered by the end of the year. Darren Kell, boss of The Tanfield Group, Smith Electric's parent company said: "Sainsbury's was one of the first companies to switch onto our leading edge electric vehicle technology and we continue to have a very close working relationship with them."