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Council’s new electric cars get green light

Published on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

LEICESTER City Council has taken delivery of ten new all-electric cars which will soon be put into service across the city.

The ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) will replace some the council’s ageing diesel fleet as part of the authority’s drive to cut air pollution in the city.

The ten Nissan Leaf cars, which have a range of around 80 miles per charge, will be used by a range of council teams to check their suitability.

Five larger van versions of the Nissan Leaf will join the fleet in the coming weeks.

The 15 new electric vehicles cost £287,000, and were purchased through the council's spend to save budget. This includes the installation of associated charging points at council offices, depots and other key locations.

Each vehicle will save around £1,000 per year in running costs compared to the older diesel models they will replace.

If a six-month trial of the new vehicles proves successful, the council will seek to replace a further 95 diesel vehicles with ULEV alternatives.

Cllr Adam Clarke, Assistant City Mayor for energy and sustainability, said: “Increasing the number of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads is one of the agreed actions in the city’s plan to improve air quality of the next ten years.

“It is important that the council is seen to be leading the way by replacing our old diesel vehicles with clean, all-electric alternatives as far as possible.

“Putting these new all-electric vehicles into service across a wide range of council teams will give us the chance to thoroughly check their suitability for different uses. That will help determine how we roll this out in future months and years. We also hope it will encourage other organisations to do the same with their own fleet vehicles.” ? ?

The council currently has around 800 diesel vehicles in its fleet. More than 650 of these are larger or specialist vehicles for which suitable ULEV alternatives are not currently offered.

The council is currently reviewing its fleet with a view to reducing vehicle numbers to around 600.

An ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) is one that produces 75g of less of carbon dioxide from the exhaust pipe. Currently, the only vehicles that achieve this are either electric or plug-in hybrid, which attract a 'money-off grant' of between £5,000 and £8,000 administered by the Government's Office for Low Emissions Vehicles.