By Faye Sunderland 31 July 2008
Energy company, E.ON has renewed its Ford contract with the environmental performance of Ford vehicles a deciding factor. The agreement with E.ON will see some 2,000 Ford vans and cars added to their UK fleet this year as part of the three-year deal. E.ON UK is part of German-based E.ON, the world’s largest investor-owned power and gas company. The selection of Ford vehicles for the contract follows a comprehensive international tender exercise. “This is part of a pan-European contract with each country managing its own requirements,” said E.ON UK’s fleet manager David Graham. The utility is one of the UK's leading power and gas companies and has been running Ford vehicles for the past 10 years. Serving 8,000,000 electricity and gas customer accounts, it places a particularly strong emphasis on its ecological responsibilities. “Safety, fitness for purpose and environmental performance are the main criteria in selecting E.ON vehicles,” said David. The UK fleet totals around 5,900 vehicles, with Ford making up three-quarters of the 3,100 light commercials, and more than a quarter of the 2,800 cars. This year, E.ON UK is taking on new Ford commercial vehicles including Ford Transit, Ford Transit Connect and Ford Ranger models, as well as Ford Fiesta vans for use by electricity meter readers. The vans are split equally between the utility’s electricity distribution and metering services business units. Bri-Stor of Staffordshire carries out all the vehicle conversions. Most of its work involves installing van racking and applying the company’s distinctive bright red livery to LCVs and field cars, although it also fits platform-lifts and other specialist equipment to a number of the vans. New Ford cars joining the E.ON UK fleet in 2008 are 340 Ford Fiesta 1.4-litre Zetec five-door models for employees, as well as Ford Mondeo Titanium and Titanium X and a small number of Ford S-MAX vehicles, to be used by business managers and essential car-users. In line with its environmental focus, the company runs only cars with CO2 emissions below 165g/km. The Ford Mondeo range boasts from 139g CO2/km and S-MAX's CO2 emissions are from 164g. E.ON UK’s vehicles are leased through Lloyds TSB Autolease and maintenance is carried out by BT Fleet. Replacement is normally after five years or 100,000 miles.