BT looks towards Electric Vehicles to reduce carbon emissions
While not likely to have an impact on your broadband connection, the Openreach division of BT is evaluating four electric vans for its engineers. Two Peugeot and two Ford vans have been converted to full electric transmission, with a payload equivalent to existing diesel vans, and a range of around 100 miles (average mileage per day in the fleet is 60-65 miles).
The trial is meant to look at the suitability of the vehicles for wider use in the Openreach fleet, and get some idea of what the longer cost benefits may be. A criticism of electric vehicles is that while the vehicles carbon emissions are reduced, it is simply shifted to the point of the energy generation. The BT Group appears to be ahead of the curve in this area as one of the UK's biggest consumers of electricity (0.7% of UK total consumption), it has received planning permission for its first wind farm. This is on top of other simple things like ensuring vehicles have correctly inflated tyres, use of speed limiters and lighter racking and equipment.
The vans will first appear in Milton Keynes, which is a city piloting charging points for electric vehicles. Also they will be tested at Stratford and the nearby Olympic Park. So if those areas and surprised by a surprisingly quiet Openreach van, you will know why.