Which University has the most electric cars in their fleet?

7 Posted: 7th Jun 2021
Which University has the most electric cars in their fleet?
  • 91% of students are “fairly or very concerned” about climate breakdown, and a further 80% wanting their institution to be doing more on sustainable development. In particular, educational institutions support environmental initiatives in order to become “green” and address all-natural problems with such valuable resources, for example emissions. 

    With this in mind Group1 Automotive has examined which universities have the highest percentage of electric cars in their fleets, which have the highest percentage of diesel, as well as the overall numbers in the fleets across the board.

    This information was obtained with a Freedom of Information request to universities. In total we asked 132, with 99 responding and 33 refusing to provide an answer or not responding in time.

    We asked for:

    1.  An updated list of cars and vans (up to 4.5T) owned by or leased to the University. Please include vehicle make, model and year of registration (provided in an Excel format).
    2. A. A list of Electric vehicles owned by or leased to the organisation
      1. A list of Hybrid vehicles owned by or leased to the organisation
      2. A list of Diesel vehicles owned by or leased to the organisation
      3. A list of Petrol vehicles owned by or leased to the organisation
    1. Does the University have a future quota or target in relation to electric vehicles in the fleet?

    We have subsequently split the universities into three tiers: 

    Tier 1 - 33% + Electric Vehicles

    Tier 2 - 11% - 32% Electric Vehicles

    Tier 3 - 0% - 10% Electric Vehicles

  • Tier 1

    Only 18 Universities out of 132 responded with a statement about making their fleets more sustainable by implementing a zero emissions plan or future target about going 100% electric. 

    Among these, the University of Warwick already has 53% of their car fleet fully electric and have said that they aim to go fully electric; “The University has a future target to have 100% electric vehicles in the fleet.” The University of Cambridge however, provided us with their “Cambridge Zero” initiative, which shows all of the things they are doing to become more sustainable, fight climate change, and ways they are trying to create a zero-carbon future. They already have 69% of their car fleet fully electric, and the University said they are “committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2038. 

    In terms of the number of Russell Group Universities who have high percentages of electric cars in their fleets, six are in the top tier. Not all universities in the group responded by the time of publication, and one university refused to provide an answer. 

    London Business School and Birkbeck College all have 100% electric vehicles in their fleets. However, they do have smaller fleets than other universities.

  • Tier 2

    Out of the 35 Universities in Tier 2, 9 answered regarding their information about their future targets or quotas for becoming fully or adding more eclectic vehicles to their fleets. 

    39% of the University of Sunderland’s cars in their fleet are fully electric and they “aim to be electric only by 2022.” Similarly, the University of the West of England has 42% of electric vehicles and they have “a target for net zero emissions by 2030”. Encouragingly, universities in Wales seem to be making a conscious effort when choosing electric vehicles. Cardiff Metropolitan University, Swansea University and Glynd?r University all have high percentages of electric vehicles in their fleets.

    By way of comparison, the University of Glasgow has a much higher number of cars in their fleet but a lower percentage of electric cars. Only 15% of their fleet is fully electric and they don’t have a documented quota or target in relation to electric vehicles. Also, the University of Oxford has a similar situation. Out of a fleet of 99 cars, 12% are electric and they currently do not have any quotas or targets towards getting a more sustainable fleet. 

    Ten Russell group Universities are in Tier 2, with seven of them having less than 20% of electric cars in their fleets and only four of them having travel plans or future targets for lowering emissions. 

  • Tier 3

    Most universities have responded with comments about their future aims for purchasing more electric or hybrid vehicles. The University of Salford, South Wales and Durham University all have sustainable travel plans or have decided to choose more sustainable vehicles when replacing their existing fleets. 

    In total across the study, 25% of Universities who responded currently have or are working on, a travel plan or target towards getting a more sustainable fleet of cars and are making conscious decisions when choosing cars in the future. 5 Universities already have Travel Plans in place and 20 are currently working towards targets of all electric fleets.

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Notes to Editor:

Methodology

FOI was undertaken to UK universities between the 18th March and 13th May 2021. 

We asked the universities how many cars they own and lease in their fleets, what these cars are, the engine type and if they have any targets and/or quotas in relation to electric vehicles in their fleets.

 

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