Network Rail expands rollout of electric vehicles and charging with support from Novuna Vehicle Solutions

Monday 4th July 2022

Network Rail has installed its first dedicated EV charging facilities for their commercial road fleet at its Swindon and Bristol depots and is trialling a fleet of fully electric vans for use across its network with support from Novuna Vehicle Solutions.

Completion of the charging infrastructure installation will support the trial of 25 fully electric small vans added to Network Rail’s EV fleet as part of the organisation’s ‘Project Zero’ plans to electrify its entire fleet to meet Department for Transport decarbonisation targets by 2027.

The installation of six charging points at Network Rail’s Swindon depot and a further three at their Bristol depot (22kW 3 phase AC chargers with a capability to fully charge electric small vans in under eight hours overnight), will assist the critical services operations of Network Rail, enabling 24/7 mobilisation of engineers to perform on-site maintenance and repairs at locations across the rail network

The EV charging installation at Network Rail’s Swindon and Bristol depots managed by Novuna Vehicle Solutions will be followed by further installations at designated sites in Cardiff, Derby, Doncaster, Glasgow, Newcastle, Sandwell & Dudley and Shrewsbury as part of Network Rail’s Project Zero initiative.

Network Rail have benefited from Novuna Vehicle Solutions’ end-to-end decarbonisation solution which helps fleets move to cleaner vehicles by assessing fleet challenges and creating bespoke transition plans, providing vehicle leasing, EV charging infrastructure and back-office management to provide remote diagnostics and enable ongoing maintenance, all of which is supporting the widespread adoption of EVs.

To deliver the charging infrastructure Network Rail required, Novuna Vehicle Solutions completed a comprehensive depot feasibility assessment, evaluating the electricity demand and consumption across each of the proposed sites ensuring the intended installation was viable. Triage reporting identified how many EV chargers could be installed within headroom and where smart charging, which uses software to balance the load, would be required.

Novuna Vehicle Solutions also provided competitive vehicle leasing through the supply of fully electric small vans which will operate across all of Network Rail’s multi-site depots.  TCO modelling was used to calculate the viability of the proposed EV transition to demonstrate the cost as well as the environmental benefits to Network Rail which owns and operates the UK’s entire railway infrastructure.

The project to install 24 sockets, across nine sites over a two-year period runs alongside the existing £136m fleet management contract with Network Rail which has seen Novuna Vehicle Solutions overseeing the management of the organisation’s entire owned and leased road fleet, as well as sourcing and supplying over 3,000 lease vehicles since 2019.

Jon Lawes, Managing Director, Novuna Vehicle Solutions, commented:

“Delivering workplace and depot charging solutions is a fundamental component of our decarbonisation strategy for fleets who are increasingly seeking on site charging to future proof their business operations.

“Despite the complexity of providing charging across multiple depot sites with the associated challenges of understanding the available electricity headroom at each site to overcome, the plan in progress to deliver charging infrastructure across multiple depot locations is already delivering cost and environmental benefits which support Network Rail’s journey towards a complete fleet electrification.

“By working together to provide Network Rail with an end-to-end decarbonisation solution, we’re helping them to achieve their fleet electrification targets whilst building on our established relationship which has already seen Novuna Vehicle Solutions become a trusted total assets solutions mobility partner.”

Willie Crawford, Head of Road Fleet, Network Rail, added:

“Project Zero is a significant undertaking for Network Rail, as we progress further on our electrification journey. Installation of charging points at our Swindon and Bristol depots supported by a fleet of fully electric vans with further installations to follow at a number of additional sites significantly enhances our mobility capability to service the rail network through our ever expanding zero-emission fleet.

“Building on our established working partnership which has seen the delivery of an efficient and cost effective ‘one-stop shop’ solution provided by Novuna Vehicle Solutions for several years, these designated depot transformations are addressing our business requirements as we make the transition towards a fully EV fleet over the next five years. Driving improved cost and environmental efficiencies across Network Rail through Project Zero is fundamental as we continue on our journey towards becoming a truly sustainable railway.”

Novuna Vehicle Solutions is working with fleet customers across a wide range of sectors from utilities and recycling to retail and home food delivery, to support their workplace and depot charging requirements and wider transition to electric vehicles.


Notes to Editors:

Novuna is a trading style of Mitsubishi HC Capital UK PLC, created from the Latin words Novo – New and Una – Together.

To find out more about Novuna Vehicle Solutions, visit: and  new social channels across LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.