News article

Chief Vehicle Officer voted #1 Decarbonisation Power Player in 2024 

Sam Clarke

We’re delighted to announce that our Chief Vehicle Officer, Sam Clarke, has been voted Motor Transport publication’s number one Decarbonisation Power Player in 2024.

The Decarbonisation Power Players list, now in its third year, acknowledges the top 25 influencers who are aiding the UK road transport industry in achieving net zero carbon emissions. The list is compiled by a panel of judges, including previous year’s winner, Olly Craughan, Head of Sustainability at DPD.

Judges on the panel described Sam as “a continual industry presence providing a positive can-do attitude to environmental logistics” and we couldn’t agree more.

We all know Sam for his work in driving the mass uptake of electric vehicle leasing and, more recently, for his work in leading GRIDSERVE’s Electric Freightway programme. Electric Freightway is one of the government’s four flagship Zero Emission Heavy Goods Vehicles and Infrastructure Demonstrator (ZEHID) projects, and one that is attempting to lay the foundations for a nationwide charging network for electric heavy goods vehicles.

Few people would be considered a better fit for such a role. Before GRIDSERVE, Sam was the founder and CEO of Gnewt Cargo, a last-mile delivery service with a difference. That difference being an exclusive, fully electric fleet of more than 100 vehicles that navigated the streets of London in everything from electric cargo cycles to quadricycles and latterly compact electric vans.

Sam Clarke

And we’re not talking about today, where you have investor appetite, 350kW-capable charging and more than 100 electric vehicle models to choose from. No, Gnewt Cargo was established in 2009, when the future was less certain and the technology less mature.

Sam is a serial entrepreneur that has experienced enough highs and lows to cover several lifetimes, so that challenger mindset probably put him in good shape for sticking his neck out here and predicting the future. Over 10 years, the company delivered more than 10 million parcels to residents and businesses and was recognised as a catalyst for other large-scale delivery services to electrify their fleets. You’re welcome, DPD.

Sam sold Gnewt Cargo to John Menzies Plc in 2017 and while contemplating what to do next, agreed to talk at a London EV event about the future needs of public charging infrastructure for commercial transport. A certain GRIDSERVE CEO, Toddington Harper, was listening in the audience and the rest, as they say, is history.

It’s fair to say Sam is facing his toughest challenge yet with Electric Freightway but is relishing the opportunity. “This is the start of changing a whole industry,” he explains. “Electric Freightway will see up to 140 eHGVs on the road in the next two years – that will be 8% of all eHGVs on the road by that time. We’ll also install a combination of depot and public eHGV charging sites to prove the use case and that will hopefully give the wider industry confidence to follow.

“As the first generation to truly recognise the climate crisis and the last generation to be able to do anything about it, it is our responsibility to deliver a material difference and move the needle on climate change. And we will.”

You can keep updated on Sam and the team’s progress with Electric Freightway news here.