Local councils in Perth and Kinross have made a pledge to copy their counterparts in Canada and Germany by switching to greener technology and move away from diesel and petrol vehicles.
Trials have already started with the dog control team who are using two new vans, one powered by electric, the other using a hybrid engine and both covered by vehicle insurance cover. The change to green fuel may pose some problems in the coming months for the local authority because efforts in the Highlands to have a fleet of vehicles powered by electric were cut short during last year’s harsh winter. The vehicles used had to be taken off the road because they could not cope with the low temperatures, but it is a problem that the council are aware of, and one that they are confident of resolving.
Head of environmental and consumer services Keith McNamara said: “There is still some way to go before the council is in a position to replace its entire fleet. I would like to say that all refuse collection vehicles will be LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) soon, but technology is still not at that stage. Electric and hybrid cars are fine to an extent, but we need to have something that will deliver what we need and when we need it. At the moment, we don’t quite have the technology.”
Two months ago councillors backed plans to apply for almost £500,000 to establish a three year project to cut air pollution caused by heavy goods vehicles. Under the scheme, deliveries would be made to a central location before being brought into the town by an electric vehicle or one with a cleaner engine. Supporters of the scheme feel that by doing this it will go some way to cutting the one thousand lorries that enter Perth on five days of the week.