ESB Networks is buying 70 fully electric vans as it moves to decarbonise their fleet.

The move represents one of the largest purchases of commercial electric vehicles in Ireland this year.

The vehicles will be used all over the country by ESB Networks staff working in metering and stores.

They will eventually replace the company's current stock of small diesel vans through this year and next.

The state-owned firm estimates that collectively the Nissan ENV200s will offset 170 tonnes of carbon a year.

"This represents a step in the right direction for ESB Networks. We have conducted market research as well as extensive trialling to ensure that we are not compromising daily range nor our load capacity," said Paul Mulvaney, Executive Director, Customer Delivery ESB Networks.

"We are delighted to be in the position to begin phasing out our diesel fleet and we will continue to explore the options available to us to increase our commercial EV numbers, as well as reducing our overall carbon footprint across the business."