Multi-million-pound contract for eco-friendly, battery-powered vehicles gives ITV News market-leading fleet for new hybrid era
Leading UK broadcaster, ITV, has selected NEP Connect to provide its next generation of news gathering vehicles for Regional and National ITV News coverage. The five-year, multi-million-pound deal will see NEP Connect supply ITV News with a world-class fleet of eco-friendly, plug-in hybrid vehicles, equipped with interior electronic systems powered by battery, reversing the need for a petrol or diesel generator. These vehicles – built by NEP Connect, part of the NEP Group global network – will be utilized by ITV to cover live breaking regional and national news across the United Kingdom.
Fourteen of the sixteen vehicles in the fleet are plug-in hybrids and will provide up to 35 miles of zero-emission driving, using a 13.6 kWh battery that can be charged with mains electricity. Each vehicle will have two external plug-in charging points to support the vehicle’s zero-emission driving and to charge the onboard battery power system.
In addition to the environmentally sustainable architecture of this innovative fleet, the units will feature NEP Connect’s industry-leading technology, including 3, 4 and 5G bonded mobile broadband, Wi-Fi, and satellite internet systems ensuring high bandwidth connectivity at any location.
Each vehicle is also designed to offer maximum flexibility for crewing options. All broadcasting systems within each vehicle are fully automated and can be operated by one multi-skilled crew member if necessary, enabling ITV to limit crew numbers, especially as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The fleet will be among the largest of its kind covering breaking news in the world.
This collaborative approach to technical design incorporated several mutually agreed upon environmental objectives and represents a compelling example of both ITV and NEP Connect’s commitment to sustainability as the companies continue their paths toward carbon neutrality.
“We are thrilled to have secured this significant multi-million, multi-year contract with ITV and to continue our great relationship with them, which goes back many years,” said David Meynell, Managing Director, NEP Connect.
“We are also proud of the final design and the exceptional environmental credentials of this new fleet. We have some fabulous innovative and forward-thinking engineers and that has allowed us to design and agree upon these impressive, highly specified, and environmentally friendly fleet of hybrid vehicles. In addition, we have agreed that where there is an option of electric or hybrid plug-in vehicles and power for any future projects, we will pursue that option and continue our journey to net zero. We are confident this is the greenest, most eco-friendly fleet in the world for breaking news and we’re really excited to embark in this latest chapter with the exceptional teams at ITV and ITN.”
As a continuation of a long-running collaboration, NEP Connect will be staffing the mobile production vehicles based in Malvern and Manchester, giving ITV further reach to access breaking news across the country. ITV recognises the value in the NEP Connect’s regional teams, with NEP Connect having held bases in these areas for many years, providing further trusted support to the broader news operation.
NEP Connect has provided dedicated satellite news gathering (SNG) services to ITV and ITN since 1993 and together they have covered some of the most dramatic breaking news stories of the 20th and 21st centuries. The live news coverage provided by NEP Connect has greatly enhanced ITV and ITN news output and this new contract reinforces the excellent relationship between the businesses and the collaborative nature of the partnership.
“ITV is looking forward to its continued established relationship with NEP in providing a renewed fleet of production live vehicles to serve our Regional and National News services,” said Paul Stevenson, Director of Technology and Technical Operations, ITV News.
“It uses some exciting new technology, and presented live production continues to be a cornerstone of our News service.”
“ITN has been pleased to work closely with ITV and NEP in the design of this next generation of our live production fleet,” said Jon Roberts, ITN’s Director of Technology, Production and Innovation.
“A reliable, easily deployable and well-integrated field presentation solution is a critical capability across our business, and we are looking forward to continuing our relationship with NEP to deliver on that.”
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