Council uses grant to improve their fleet of vans

Conwy County Borough Council has decided to invest in eight Ashwood Hybrid Transit light commercial vehicles as they reinforce their commitment to an energy efficient future. They secured funding from the Department for Transport programme which they say will be worth the cost because all the vans will save money on fuel and cut CO2 emissions considerably.

Conwy’s hybrid fleet comprises two panel vans and six chassis cabs. They will be covered by commercial van insurance and be used in the council’s Street Scene operation; four in the Parks section and four for the Street Cleansing section. Conwy are confident that the new vans will deliver a CO2 reduction of up to 33% and fuel saving of 21%. With an average of 25,000 miles each year this would result in a yearly saving of £1,265 per van, a figure which will be even more when fuel prices are increased.

Peter Barton-Price, Conwy fleet manager, said “We’re delighted to be looking at these vehicles as part of our fleet replacement programme; using improved technology and benefiting from the purchase incentives available. We want to make sure we provide the best possible, safe, economical and user-friendly fleet for the authority.”

Conwy Council have for some time been looking at introducing this kind of technology into their fleet of vans as part of their commitment to reducing carbon emissions. When they found out that funding was available to local authorities, it made the decision of when to get the new vans very easy. Ashwoods claim their hybrid technology reduces fuel consumption on a standard Ford Transit by 15-25%. The system is self-powered as it stores energy each time the van slows down before transferring it to the wheels via an electric motor. One of the selling points is that unlike other hybrids or electric vehicles, it will never need to be plugged into a charging point which means fleet managers do not need to worry about the battery going flat.

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