The Big Issue Group and Citroen have announced a three-year partnership which will see the company provide the magazine group with a fleet of electric light commercial vehicles.
The Big Issue fleet currently covers 350,000 miles a year, transporting more than two million magazines to 3,300 vendors across the UK.
The first electric vans will be used in Bristol, Bath, Bournemouth, Norwich and Newcastle on August 15.
The Big Issue said that with many cities now becoming Clean Air Zones and charging older vehicles for travelling in city centres to reduce pollution, the partnership has come at a vital time.
Laurentiu Lukacs, who sells the magazine in Bristol, said: “It’s good that the company is starting to go greener for the planet.
“My customers like it when the magazine covers political issues – so, I think they will be happy that we are starting to use electric vehicles.”
Russell Blackman, Big Issue Group managing director of commercial, said: “Citroen’s market-leading approach to innovation and affordability of electric vehicles is the exact reason why they are the ideal partner to work with Big Issue Group.
“Our partnership will allow us to make even greater strides in the support and services we provide for the most marginalised across the country. In cities and remote, rural locations, we will be able to respond quickly when our vendors need us the most.
“This is a great demonstration of how two leading brands are working together, driving change for good.”
Eurig Druce, Citroen’s UK managing director, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Big Issue Group in their important work ‘changing lives through enterprise’, and in particular to support their transition to electric vehicles so they can become more sustainable.
“Big Issue Group is a fantastic organisation that has been working to improve people’s lives for over 30 years by providing work opportunities – a hand up, not a hand out is a philosophy we can definitely get behind.”
Big Issue south-east frontline manager Hattie Greenyer said: “Having reliable vans is so important to us and getting these e-LCVs as part of our new lease partnership with Citroen will help us to reach more pitches for support services and increase the number of pitches we can get to in a day.
“That means we’re helping more vendors to sell more magazines, and able to provide more day-to-day support that they need.”