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Public sector to begin testing low-carbon vans

big-van-little-vanFour companies have been selected to begin supplying low-carbon and all-electric vans to some public-sector organisations starting later this year.

Ashwoods, Allied Vehicles, Smith Electric Vehicles and Modec will initially supply the first 100 – 150 vans for use across the country.  The programme is part of a £20 million Department for Transport scheme to use public sector procurement to help demonstrate the potential of new technologies for decarbonising road transport.

The vans will be monitored closely to assess their carbon reduction potential in real-world conditions. If initial trials prove successful, the Government could offer financial support for further larger vehicle procurements in a second phase of the programme.

“Greener cars tend to grab all the headlines but emissions from vans have risen by around 40 per cent since 1990,” said Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis. “This is something we need to address as part of our carbon reduction strategy for transport.”

He continued, “Electric and lower carbon vans have the potential to significantly reduce emissions so it is important that we test these new technologies in real-world conditions.  This new DfT programme enables the public sector to lead by example and I am delighted to see that a number of emerging UK companies have been successful in securing these contracts.”

The vans will be used by six local authority groups and six large public fleets:

  • Liverpool City Council
  • Leeds City Council
  • Glasgow City Council
  • Newcastle & Gateshead City Council
  • Coventry Low Carbon Fleet Partnership
  • Consortium of Central London councils
  • Government Car & Despatch Agency
  • Environment Agency
  • HM Revenue & Customs
  • Royal Mail
  • Transport for London
  • Metropolitan Police

The initial trials will last a minimum of three years, and the programme as a whole will be managed for DfT by Cenex, the UK Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon Vehicle & Fuel Cell Technologies. The DfT programme is part of a wider Government strategy to position the UK as a leading centre for the development, demonstration and early adoption of lower carbon vehicles.

Together with yesterday’s announcement of the winners of the Technology Strategy Board’s ultra-low carbon vehicle demonstration competition, close to 500 additional innovative low and ultra low carbon vehicles will be in operation across the UK within the next year.

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