For the past week we have been discussing how commercial vehicle manufacturers have been introducing new electric and hybrid versions of their models for the Commercial Vehicle Show, which are cheaper to run and better for the environment. At this point in time these types of vans are not particularly popular among the general public as they cost more to buy and cover with commercial vehicle insurance, however businesses and regulatory bodies are starting to introduce these models into their fleets meaning that we should expect to be seeing more on our roads in the near future.
For example, the Cotswold District Council has recently purchased six new hybrid vans thanks to a subsidy from the Department for Transport which means they were able to buy the vehicles for the same amount as a standard diesel van. The subsidy is part of the government’s Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVP) which offers public sector fleets subsidies for Ashwood’s hybrid vans until 31st March 2013. The vans will be driven by employees of Ubico Ltd which currently provides environmental services to the government, and who are happy to know that the vehicles will save around 10.8tonnes in CO2 per year.
Fleet Services Manager at Ubico Ltd, Malcolm Curruthers, said: “These hybrid vans will reduce our fleet spend on diesel substantially while also cutting carbon emissions. Ubico is committed to providing the most efficient possible service to residents and businesses. Cotswold District Council looked at several options for low carbon vehicles, but we agreed that Ashwood’s was by far the most effective and most straightforward. We can deploy the vehicles without any additional driver or service engineer training – and we don’t need to invest in charging points or new fuel tanks.”
As all of the six vehicles are expected to drive a cumulative 100,000 miles per year, the council is expected to save around £5,900 as well as reduce fuel emissions by around fifteen to twenty per cent. Ashwood’s hybrid fuel technology also reduces fuel consumption through a self-powered system that uses regenerative braking to store energy and transfer it back into the wheels when needed. The company also offers their vans in a range of body types including panel van, chassis cab, dropsides and tippers, double cab and box vans meaning that they can fit nearly any public fleet operators’ requirements.