Low-emissions vehicle trial moves up a gear

Further research and development into the use of low-emissions vehicles is being spearheaded by staff from Birmingham City Council.

District Neighbourhood Caretaker Gary Chalke, has recently taken delivery of a Nissan e-NV200 to go about his daily duties – and had a British Gas electric charging point installed at his Longbridge home for the three-month trial.

The latest trial is the second carried out by staff at the council. The first saw staff from the adult social care team use a Nissan Leaf to carry out their night care services to the elderly and disabled in the south of the city, the major difference being that the vehicle was charged at work rather than in the home.

Independently managed and analysed by Cenex for the council, the initial trial demonstrated a number of key benefits and findings including:

– Zero tailpipe emissions (CO2, NOx, PM)
– 35 per cent “well to wheel” CO2 savings (CO2 generated from the extraction, processing, delivery, dispensing and final combustion of fuel)
– £1,660 (17 per cent) whole life (Where a vehicle is kept for any average of 5years) cost savings, based on a four-year vehicle lease
– 3.3p per mile running costs (fuel only) compared to 9.5p per mile to run a comparator diesel vehicle
– 83 mile vehicle range from a single battery charge Charged overnight using a standard 7hr charger)
– Cold weather had a marked effect on the car’s energy consumption, reducing average vehicle range by almost a quarter (comparing figures from July and December 2014)
– Seven per cent of worker shifts using the car saw it enter the final 20 per cent of battery capacity (meaning mid-shift top-up charging or the purchase of a Nissan Cold pack for the winter season should be considered if such vehicles were adopted on a wider basis)

Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Management and Homes at Birmingham City Council, said: “The results from the initial trial are encouraging and show there are clear advantages to making our fleet of vehicles greener.

“But we need to test a number of different scenarios to get the most out of such technology. Doing this the right way will save the council and the taxpayer money, while also helping to address issues relating to air quality and the health and wellbeing of our citizens.

“This latest trial will help shape a green vehicle fleet for the council in future.”
Andy Butler, Project Engineer at British Gas, said: “Innovative trials like this demonstrate that using electric vehicles as part of a council’s fleet can bring significant benefits – from saving money to improving local air quality.

“Electric vehicles are also really convenient for council staff as they can be charged at home or at work while they’re parked. The charging point we’ve installed is as easy to use as plugging in a mobile phone, so we’re confident that it will support the neighbourhood caretaker in their duties.

“As the number of electric cars and charging points continues to grow in the region, this exciting initiative will hopefully make a real difference to the council and its residents.”

Barry Beeston, Corporate Sales Director at Nissan Motor (GB), said: “It’s no exaggeration to say that the all-electric Nissan e-NV200 has the potential to redefine the LCV market and could have a transformational impact on huge numbers of businesses and vehicle fleets, from one man bands to large multinationals.

“In fact, many businesses across the UK are already enjoying the vehicle’s extraordinary benefits, significantly reducing their costs and lessening their environmental impact simply by switching to what is a stylish, well-equipped, capable and versatile van.

“It’s really no surprise. The e-NV200 costs the same as a normal van, can cover 106 miles on a single charge – well within the average daily distance covered by a working van – costs much less to maintain and can be run for just two pence per mile.

“Add to that the benefits of zero emissions mobility – something which can really help businesses meet their carbon reduction and sustainability targets – and it’s clear to see how the numbers stack up in favour of the e-NV200.”


Notes to editors

1. Cenex was established in 2005 as the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell technologies. Today Cenex operates as an independent not-for-profit consultancy specialising in the delivery of projects, supporting innovation and market development, focused on low carbon vehicles and associated energy infrastructure. For more information, visit www.cenex.co.uk

For more media information please contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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