Telecommunications firm Openreach has taken delivery of more than 270 electric Vauxhalls as it bids to become more eco-friendly. The company, which boasts one of the UK’s largest vehicle fleets, has received nine new electric Corsa-e hatchbacks and 270 Vivaro-e electric panel vans.

With around 27,000 vehicles on the books, Openreach’s new acquisitions make up around one percent of a fleet that has included diesel-powered Vauxhall vans for the past 15 years. Now, though, the company has become a founding member of the UK Electric Fleets Coalition, which has asked the government to aim for all new car and van sales to be fully electric (where possible) by 2030.

Following this, Openreach has started the process of making its own vehicle fleet fully electric. This first consignment of vehicles has been described by the company as an “important first step” to making the switch.

Now, the electric vehicles will set to work around the country, ferrying staff and contractors from A to B. Openreach has not confirmed which versions of the Vivaro-e vans it has ordered, but the vehicle is available with a choice of two battery options. The smaller 50 kW version achieves 143 miles of range on the official economy test, while the 75kW unit extends that range to 205 miles. With 100 kW rapid charging, an 80-percent charge takes between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on which battery is fitted.

The Corsa-e, meanwhile, will squeeze 209 miles from a single charge, while its 50 kW battery can be charged to 80 percent in just half an hour – as long as you use a 100 kW rapid charger. Chris Mullings, the operating licence and vehicle compliance manager at Openreach, said the vehicle was chosen for its comfort, space and range.

Openreach Vauxhall Corsa-e

“Although the Corsa-e is a compact car, it is surprisingly roomy, incredibly easy to drive and comfortable on both short and long journeys,” he said. “The range is very good and with its DC charging capability it provides additional rapid charging options if ever needed.”

Both vehicles are supplied with an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty, as well as eight years of Roadside Assistance cover from Vauxhall.

“Openreach is leading the charge on the transition to electric vehicles,” said Clive Selley, the company’s CEO. “Our order today is an important first step as we begin to move our fleet, the second largest commercial fleet in the UK, to being fully electric."

Openreach Vauxhall Vivaro-e

Meanwhile James Taylor, the general sales director of Vauxhall, said the order reflected the confidence Openreach had in Vauxhall’s electric vehicles.

“Our electric vehicles help achieve significant cost savings from day one, and equally as important have no compromise in capability,” he said. “Having one of the UK’s largest fleet operators choosing our electric vehicles shows just how confident they are in our product. We are very happy to continue our partnership with Openreach, transforming their nationwide fleet with our new electric vehicles.”

Gallery: Openreach Electric Vauxhalls