Businesses are invited to trial a range of electric vans following the launch of a new initiative tomorrow (Thursday 26 November).
Around 50 vans will be available for any size of business, public or voluntary organisation operating in the city to try for up to three months as part of the Electric Van Experience (EVE).
Funded by Highways England and delivered as part of Nottingham City Council’s Workplace Travel Service, EVE will enable businesses to see how making the switch to electric vans could be the right move financially and environmentally.
Councillor Sally Longford, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Energy and the Environment, said: “With the ban on the sale of new petrol and electric vehicles brought forward to 2030, we want to support businesses to plan ahead. Electric vehicles are the future, but making the switch is still a big decision.
“We’re giving businesses the opportunity to get in the driving seat and see the benefits of an electric van for themselves, before making any commitment. This isn’t available through dealerships or manufacturers, so it’s a unique opportunity and key to addressing barriers businesses face with electrifying fleets.
“Not only will they be able to experience first-hand the cost savings in maintenance and operation, but also the improved driving experience, giving them confidence to go ahead and make their fleets cleaner.
“As a council we’ve long been committed to improving air quality in the city, and this scheme will help to reduce harmful emissions from the city’s and region’s roads. It’s a fantastic opportunity for businesses and organisations looking for a greener recovery from Covid-19.”
Businesses who take up the offer will be able to have a charge point fitted for free at their premises, and will be invited to take advantage of the services offered by Nottingham Electric Vehicle Services (NEVS).
There has already been some interest from local businesses. Zoë Allen, Senior Project Manager at Lenton Lane-based Visual Packaging, said: “As a company sustainability is at our core, from using recycled materials to make our packaging, which is also 100 per cent recyclable, to incorporating processes where over 99 per cent of materials used in our production are recycled. We are committed to sustainability and the efficient and effective use of resources.
“Moving to using electric vehicles is another step in the right direction and will allow us to reduce our carbon footprint and harness better use of resources in a more efficient way that will bring benefits to our customers, friends, family and both the local and wider community.
“Being part of the Electric Van Experience helps us to take our first tentative steps into the transitional phase, allowing us to identify the right vehicles for our business to help us grow, nurture understanding of electric vehicle benefits and make a positive difference.”
EVE will be carried out in line with the current guidance around Covid safety. The project has been made possible using a grant from Highways England.
Highways England’s Midlands regional director, Catherine Brookes, said: “We’ve invested £2.69m to help Nottingham City Council deliver the Electric Van Experience, which encourages businesses to make the switch to cleaner, greener electric vehicles.
“Supporting local authorities to develop and implement clean air plans is just one of a host of measures we’re taking to improve air quality and tackle carbon emissions associated with road transport.
“This investment is also a great example of how we’re using dedicated funding to benefit the environment and communities around our roads as well as the people travelling and working on them.”
For more information on the Electric van Experience visit www.transportnottingham.com/workplacetravel
For further information on the work Highways England is carrying out to improve air quality, visit highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/air-quality