Electrifying our fleet to help tackle climate change

Transport makes up 23% of energy-related carbon emissions globally and businesses have a critical role to play in leading by example and encouraging an uptake of EVs within their own fleet. At National Grid, we’re doing this by joining the EV100 initiative.

EV100 is a global initiative launched by the Climate Group that brings together companies committed to the transition to electric vehicles.

The EV100 initiative


Over half of all new vehicles on the road go into company fleets, so it’s crucial that businesses lead the shift to electric vehicles (EVs) through their investment decisions and influence on millions of staff and customers worldwide.

The initiative provides an opportunity for global leaders to share ideas, demonstrate the growing case for going electric, and engage with governments and stakeholders on how we can collaboratively remove remaining barriers.

Our commitment as part of this initiative is to integrate EVs into our fleet and support EV uptake within our workforce by providing charging facilities at our premises. For our fleet, that means electrifying 2,879 vehicles in the UK and 2,905 vehicles in the US. We’ve also made a commitment for 289 charging sites in the UK and to continue adding 2,900 owned-chargers for our internal fleets to the 1,400 points already deployed in our US territories.

Lorna McAtear, UK Fleet Manager at National Grid, said: “There’s huge potential to drive net zero ambitions by transforming the fleet industry to electric vehicles. Viable electric cars and vans weren’t around five years ago and it’s exciting to see the progress that’s being made to find feasible solutions in the market.

There’s huge potential to drive net zero ambitions by transforming the fleet industry to electric vehicles.

“It’s critical we keep leading the way through the transformation of our own fleet, helping to influence the transport and energy sectors alongside government with the changes needed.”

Tackling climate change

In the UK, transport accounts for 27% of carbon emissions, representing the country’s largest emitting sector. In the US, approximately 40% of emissions in the Northeast are from transportation, making it a larger source of emissions than any other sector in the region. Globally, transport makes up 23% of energy-related carbon emissions.

Tackling climate change and reaching net zero will require a range of technologies and solutions across different sectors and industries. The mass adoption of electric vehicles will be key to decarbonising our roads, with estimates we’ll have over 11 million EVs on the road in the UK and 18.7 million on the road in the US by 2030.

We’re seeing an acceleration in this space with the UK government’s ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. And steps being taken in the US, with Massachusetts recently announcing a plan to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. To support these ambitions, businesses have a critical role to play in leading by example and encouraging an uptake of EVs within their own fleet.

By joining the EV100 initiative, we’re advancing our commitment to decarbonisation and the future of clean transportation

We’re making progress

We have made significant strides toward integrating electric vehicles into our own fleet and are continuing our efforts to pick up the pace where possible.  

In the US, we operate 50 medium and heavy-duty electrified vehicles, continue to replace our passenger cars with EVs and have begun trials of some electric construction equipment and electrified aerial bucket trucks.

“Climate change is the defining challenge of this generation. Only by working together with other like-minded companies can we make significant changes to curb emissions,” said Kerry Martin, our US Corporate Fleet Sustainability Specialist.

Climate change is the defining challenge of this generation. Only by working together with other like-minded companies can we make significant changes to curb emissions.

“In the US, we’ve committed to move to a 100% electric fleet by 2030 for our light-duty vehicles and pursue the replacement of our medium and heavy duty vehicles with zero carbon alternatives. This is an important component of taking responsibility for the future of energy for our loved ones, colleagues and generations to come.”

In the UK, we have made a commitment to replace our entire commercial fleet with alternative fuel vehicles by 2030 – with an aim to replace 60% of all fleets in Electricity Transmission and 30% of all fleets in Gas Transmission with alternatively fuelled, zero-emission vehicles

We’re also committed to enabling our employees to take part in this future of clean transportation by, for example, installing over 160 charging ports at our US premises and providing incentives for our employees towards the purchase or lease of EVs.

COP26 Director Duncan Burt said: “At National Grid, we’re committed to being a responsible business in everything we do, enabling a fair and affordable transition to a clean energy future and reducing our own emissions.

“Our aim is to ultimately transition our fleet to 100% net zero by 2030 and help accelerate the wider decarbonisation of transport in the UK. We’re proud to join the EV100, working with global businesses leaders to influence policy and support the mass roll-out of EVs – this will be critical to cutting carbon emissions and reaching the government’s ambitious climate goals.”

Looking ahead to COP26 and beyond

As a COP26 Principle Partner, we have an important role to play in leading by example and driving the energy transition. Electrifying our fleet and encouraging the uptake of EVs within our business are important parts of this. We’re continuing to identify ways to electrify our fleet where operationally possible by 2030, trialling and integrating electric models as they arrive on the market.

Find out more about the future of transport


Read the US version of this story.