Secure Contracting, University of Salford, and Stagecoach have undergone fleet electrification. Switching to electric or hybrid vehicles can generate immediate on-road carbon savings compared to petrol and diesel vehicles. We spoke to the three companies who have electrified their fleet to hear their advice on going electric.  

Will going electric reduce my carbon footprint?  

When compared with their petrol and diesel equivalents, EVs have lower tailpipe emissions and will generate a significantly lower footprint over their lifespan. According to a study conducted by Transport and Environment, an EV will on average emit three times less CO2 than equivalent petrol or diesel cars.  
Taking into account the problems associated with importing batteries, such as freight emissions and the complications of mining rare earth metals such as lithium, even in the worst-case scenario of a battery produced in China and driven in Poland, an EV emits 22% less CO2 than diesel and 28% less than petrol. Variations across vehicles and additional factors can be used to draw comparisons using this tool
EVs can have multiple applications across a range of businesses; here we speak to three organisations to understand how they did it and the impact they’re having. 

Secure Contracting

Secure Contracting operates a fleet of twenty vehicles, eight of which they turned to full electric in December 2021, with three more electric vans added recently, bringing their total up to eleven.  
“We decided to go electric after looking at the telematics data; most drivers did under 200 miles a week getting to and from properties, and collecting materials,” explains Jimmy Gaunt, operations director at Secure Contracting NW Ltd. “This meant that range anxiety wasn’t an issue for us.” 
By specialising their larger vans to carry heavier tools and equipment, Secure Contracting were able to electrify their smaller vans which would carry drivers and lighter tools only.  

Jimmy talked to us about how engaging their workforce early helped them to address resistance to change.  
“It was important to get the drivers on board. We had some complaints from drivers who had to adjust their driving and consider charging when planning their longer journeys. However, battery life is in the manner of driving. We stood by our decision and educated our staff on EV ownership, ensuring they were driving efficiently in a way more suited to EVs.”  

Secure Contracting Fleet Images

As part of Secure Contracting’s bid to overcome charging complaints from staff, four of the eight drivers have had charge points installed at their home, the cost of which was fronted by the company. They also have a charge point installed at the office. In addition to this, drivers with charge points at home had these set up remotely, meaning the utility company would receive money direct from the charger which is then invoiced back to Secure Contracting. This ensured no direct financial burden for the drivers. 
The impacts of electrification are “definitely positive,” says Jimmy. Their costs are down in terms of fuel, road tax, maintenance and parking. They are currently paying zero road tax on their EVs, and are confident that, since electrifying, their only cost has been MOTs, all of which their EVs have passed. Finally, their green credentials are far stronger and provable. 
As for Jimmy’s key pieces of advice to organisations considering going electric; “Look at the data you have around mileage, fuel costs, telematics, and van usage before deciding which to make electric. There will always be resistance, so be confident in your decision and commit to it. Once you have the EVs, train your staff in how to efficiently use an EV and instigate schemes, such as ‘driver of the month’, to ensure they are being used properly.”  

Want to know more about EVs and how to integrate them into your business? Register for our Demystifying EV technology webinar here.


University of Salford

The University of Salford (UoS) are currently in the process of fleet conversion, focussing on their original fleet of cars, jeeps, delivery and maintenance vans, road sweepers, trucks, box vans, and bikes and carts for security. Their decision to go electric was inspired by the low mileage needed on for most vehicles, the proposed Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan (CAP), and their reputation amongst their key demographic of future students. 
As of March 2023, 40 per cent of UoS’s fleet is now electric and they have three fleet charge points equalling six chargers and 12 chargers for public use distributed around campus.  
“When deciding which vehicles to electrify, there were a few key questions to answer,” explains Rebecca Bennett, assistant director of sustainability at UoS. You have to consider how much the vehicle will cost (new EVs are significantly more expensive than second hand), how essential is the vehicle’s role and is it required, how much is the vehicle costing to run and is it affected by the CAP, and then the practicality of whether an EV can take on this role effectively.”  
UoS also experienced a few challenges at the start of their journey into EV ownership. 
“We were early adopters, starting with a small electric vehicle for our security team in 2008/9. Our first challenge was changing attitudes to EVs as reliability and the look and feel of the vehicle created a negative perception at first.” 
“Charging infrastructure was also an issue at the start. Onsite charging is absolutely key and needs to be accessible to all drivers, but they must be placed in line with estate developments. The chargers were funded internally at the cost of around £10,000, and we decided location based on where the existing fleet parked.”  
As for the issue of staff engagement, UoS put a lot of preparation into filtering through the necessary information for their staff. They wrote EV guides for those who would be operating the vehicles and delivered presentations and support to encourage the switch. This coupled with training around how an EV should be driven ensured staff were invested in the move and understood how to preserve battery life. 

Overall, Rebecca believes UoS’s transition to electric fleet management has been positive.  

“Carbon emissions from our fleet have more than halved since rolling out the EVs, and the impact is also tangible. The EVs send a clear sustainability signal and create less noise than petrol/diesel vehicles, which hasn’t been a problem. Our maintenance costs are lower, and our road tax has gone down. We have arranged for the purchase of more vehicles and will continue with the transition.”  

Rebecca Bennett assistant director of sustainability, The University of Salford

Uos Fleet Images

Finally, Rebecca lists three key pieces of advice if you’re considering electrifying your fleet:  

  • Consider the range and mileage of your fleet, the consistency of journeys, and the locations you’ll be travelling to and around. 
  • Onsite charging is essential; if you have a fleet you need to provide easy, reliable access to onsite infrastructure.  
  • New vehicles have more capacity for branding and personalisation, making it easier to send your sustainability message; utilise that. 


Stagecoach has recently pursued electrification of their Greater Manchester fleet, with 32 electric buses operating along some of the more popular routes connecting the city centre, airport, hospitals and universities. 
As for the projects impact, a single double-decker bus can take more than 70 cars off the road, and an electric bus can save 2,208 tonnes of carbon a year compared to petrol anddiesel equivalents. The electric buses also more closely align with Greater Manchester’s CAP and clear air policies.  
A report from Clean Cities noted Manchester as one of the worst UK cities for air quality, citing a lack of shared EVs as a key contributor to this. The report states that Greater Manchester could benefit greatly from improving access to EV infrastructure and increasing the rollout of charge points. In total, Manchester has just 35 electric busses out of a 2,141 strong fleet, and only 0.7 bikes or scooters per 1,000 people. Stagecoach’s electric bus upgrades aim to tackle this issue. 
In April 2023, Stagecoach unveiled plans to expand their fleet of electric buses, adding an additional 170 vehicles in Stockport, consisting of 150 double-deckers and 20 single-deckers. These buses will begin rollout from summer 2024. 
“We’re excited to be announcing our largest electric vehicle order to date, which will be a major step forward in improving air quality,” says Sam Greer, engineering director for Stagecoach.  
The order is funded by £37.2m from Stagecoach, matched by an additional £37.5m from Greater Manchester’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) bid. A further £12.5m was provided by Transport for Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Are you considering transitioning your fleet to electric vehicles? Speak to one of our advisors to find out more about the process, and use our online searchable marketplace to contact local, trusted providers and installers of EV technology. 


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