Skip to main content

NEP Connect to Supply Eco-Friendly Vehicles to ITV News

NEP Connect
NEP Connect will be supplying a new fleet of battery-powered vehicles to ITV News. (Image credit: NEP Connect)

LONDON—In a deal that is a notable illustration of how broadcasters are working to reduce their carbon footprint, the U.K.’s largest commercial broadcaster, ITV, has selected NEP Connect to provide it with a new generation of news gathering vehicles for the regional and national ITV News coverage. 

The five-year, multi-million-pound deal will see NEP Connect supply ITV News with a 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, the companies said. 

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 the 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, NEP said. 

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, the companies reported. 

“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,” Meynell continued. “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. 

NEP Connect has provided dedicated satellite news gathering (SNG) services to ITV and ITN since 1993. 

“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.” 

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.