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Two big UK utilities pledge to adopt all-electric fleets

London

TWO of Britain's six biggest utilities pledged to switch their entire vehicle fleet to run on electricity by 2030, adding momentum to the shift away from traditional engine technology.

Centrica Plc operates the third-biggest company owned fleet in the UK, with 15,000 cars and vans. SSE Plc has 3,500 vehicles and also said it will install charging points for its employees to use, according to a statement released by the two through the The Climate Group, a non-profit group helping detail and coordinating environmental policies.

The targets follow a cross-party effort backed by the government setting a goal to reduce net fossil fuel emissions to zero by 2050. Energy companies led by utilities have been at the forefront of efforts to shift towards renewables, and utilities are anticipating profitable opportunities in developing electric cars and the networks that support them.

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"Decarbonisation is at the heart of what we do, and low carbon emissions from transport is critical if the UK is to meet its net zero targets," said Brian McLaren, SSE's director of group change.

Facilities services provider Mitie Group Plc also pledged to transition its 5,300 vehicles to electric including a commitment to switch two-thirds of the fleet by the end of next year and install 800 new charging points.

SSE said it has invested US$15.4 million on energy efficiency measures in its buildings and depots, which have seen energy use at SSE's data centre sites drop by 22 per cent since 2016. BLOOMBERG