ONE of the county's largest property companies has rolled out a fleet of electric cars and plans to install new electric charge points.

Eric Wright Group had set itself the target of making 60 per cent of its company vehicles hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric by 2025 but is now set to meet that deadline by 2023.

The group also now plans to upgrade the power supply to the existing charge points at its head office on Sceptre Way with a further 20 charge points to be installed by next year with another thirty charging points to be installed across its north west property portfolio.

Group fleet and transport Manager Steven Openshaw said: “Two years ago only 20 per cent of the fleet was electric or hybrid but today our order bank is currently 95 per cent electric and we’re proud that we will meet our 2025 commitments early.

"There are now far more model options available, an increased acceptance of the technology and significant benefit in kind advantages which have encouraged more people to make the switch."

The rest of the company meanwhile hopes that this will mark a wider shift towards more environmentally friendly working practices.

Managing director Jeremy Hartley said: "We set some ambitious fleet targets and are pleased to have met those early.

"We will continue to build on that success and introduce more changes as swiftly as we possibly can including programmes to significantly reduce travel to and from head office and studying telematics to improve driver safety.

“Our commitment is not only to people who have a company vehicle but also in ensuring we are inclusive in supporting every member of staff to reduce carbon emissions including those who have their own vehicles or who use public transport."

Meanwhile one of the Eric Wright Group's businesses, Maple Grove Developments, is also helping its tenants to install electric charging points, while another group owned company, Applethwaite Homes, is also looking at how changing points can be designed into housing developments.

Moves like this have already seen the group commended for its efforts, with Eric Wright Group receiving the Carbon Saver Gold Standard Award for 2020 for reducing its carbon footprint for the 11th consecutive year.

Mr Hartley said: “As more young professionals join our business we will also see a continued change in the type of accommodation they live in, such as city centre apartments, which might not have off street parking or on-site charge points.

"We need to make sure that our strategies recognise the diversity and changes in our workforce to fully enable all staff to play their part in our drive to reduce carbon consumption.”