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Go Ultra Low: the Initiative Championing Plug-in Vehicles

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Another year, another government initiative aimed at reducing CO2 emissions by promoting the use of plug-in vehicles. So what’s this one all about, who’s behind the wheel and what does it mean for the courier industry? Delve deeper to discover the ins and outs of the government’s latest strategy.

Who Leads the Initiative and Why?

At its heart, Go Ultra Low (or GUL) is a marketing campaign, led by a consortium of government and industry (including the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT).

The driving force behind GUL is to give a media platform to the world of plug-ins. Using radio, video and other online description, it aims to convey the realities of electric to a wider audience. And, of course, a wider audience means a broader pool of potential consumers…

Although it was first rolled out in 2014, GUL has been taken up a gear in 2018, with an increased focus on the feasibility of going electric for individuals and small businesses. We can all, it claims, cover the costs of plug-ins: vehicles, charge-points and repairs included.

What Can It Provide for Courier Companies?

One of the most useful outcomes of GUL is the development of four new tools, allowing for an at-a-glance survey of the ramifications of the plug-in vehicle. These are basically data-crunching devices that calculate the following:

• Home-charge cost
• Vehicle tax
• Distance capacity
• Journey cost

Depending on your business, these could be useful assets for the basic planning stage, particularly if you’re making the first steps towards plug-in. Vehicles will also be eligible for fleet reviews, funded by GUL in association with the Energy Saving Trust, boosting the business’s ability to take on more electric models.

How Can You Obtain Official GUL Status?

Under the new scheme, businesses can choose to become an official Go Ultra Low company, following successful completion of an online application form. This status is dependent on two criteria:

• The company has at least one plug-in as part of their existing fleet.
• The company pledges to electrify at least 5% of their fleet by the year 2020.

The chief benefit of being a GUL company is public recognition of your green credentials. On acceptance into the scheme, the company is sent a unique logo and an in-depth marketing pack, alongside being given the opportunity to feature in GUL press releases and public case studies.

As green concerns become more and more central in the public’s imagination, this is a tangible way to demonstrate a serious commitment to an eco-minded transport industry.


What distinguishes GUL from other similar initiatives is its focus on information. By combining the scheme’s expertise and prominent media platform with the easy-to-use, interactive tools, businesses should now be able to compile a clearer picture of what their own green future might look like, in terms of both cost management and consumer engagement.
About author: Desiree Michels

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the in the express freight exchange industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Courier Exchange provides a valuable service, updating members with the latest information from the transport industry, including plug-in vehicles, road safety, fuel costs and other news. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships. 

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