Abbott Labs on target for all-electric fleet in 2023
Healthcare company Abbott Laboratories is on target to switch its 475-strong UK car fleet to ‘all-electric’ vehicles (EV) during 2023 with the help of Arval UK.
Les Muggeridge, UK Human Resources Director at the global healthcare company, explained that the move had both environmental and financial imperatives.
“As a healthcare specialist, we have continually worked to make our fleet as environmentally friendly as possible, simply because it is the right thing to do, looking at the latest science over the years to switch from petrol to diesel, then from diesel to hybrids, and now to EVs.
“This electrification policy also helps us commercially. For example, the NHS is our single biggest customer in the UK and their tenders are scored partially on environmental grounds. Working towards a zero emissions fleet helps us to win contracts.
“We’ve set ourselves an objective of becoming all-EV next year, something that has been made possible in part by Arval working with us to revise our policy to enable us to remove ICE (internal combustion engines) and PHEV (plug-in hybrid) models at the earliest opportunity. The only potential stumbling block is supply, which is a tricky area for everyone at the moment, but otherwise we are very much on target.”
Arval has worked with Abbott on a solus basis for more than 10 years, supplying cars on a 48 month lease contract hire.
Christina Harbour, Fleet, Risk and Finance Projects Manager at Abbott, explained: “We’ve tried to make EV adoption as easy as possible for our employees. Drivers can choose almost any model currently available in the UK, as long as it has a minimum 170 mile range.
“Drivers are also allowed to add their own contribution to cars of up to 20% and many have chosen to do this, especially in relation to a new 90 car Tesla opportunity that Arval has been able to secure. This is especially attractive because the cars are price protected.
“Additionally, we’ve worked with Arval to make charging as easy as possible, with the cost of installing home charging included in the monthly lease payments, which is quite an innovation. There are also extensive charging facilities available at almost all of our UK sites.”
Muggeridge added that Abbott now had fewer than 100 drivers operating any kind of ICE vehicle.
“There’s just something of a hardcore left now. Some are waiting for EVs on order and there are only a handful who are keen to stay with their petrol or diesel car. However, we have been helping to make the transition easier with a training course highlighting the advantages of EVs and this has worked very well in terms of changing attitudes.”
Jamie Williams, Head of IBO and Large Corporate Sales at Arval UK, added: “Abbott is a progressive fleet and will probably be one of the first of this size to move to all-EV. They are very much a best practice example to the sector, showing how the advantages of electrification can be accessed to the benefit of an entire business.”