23.4.2014Rural businesses trial electric vehicles
Several companies based in Warwickshire have plugged-in to a new project designed to test the efficiency and performance of electric cars in rural areas.
Ten rural businesses from a variety of sectors including farming, vehicle maintenance, residential care, local deliveries and business services have taken delivery of new electric vehicles as part of the Warwickshire Rural Electric Vehicles project.
The cars, which included eight Nissan LEAFs and a BMW i3, were presented to representatives from each firm during an official handover event at the Rural Innovation Centre at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.
The project is part of the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network funded by Defra and led by Warwickshire County Council, on behalf of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
The Rural Growth Network is among five pilot projects across England which has been created to support small firms in rural areas as part of a major initiative to boost the rural economy.
Businesses including Roylands Farms, MJ Tec and Act on Energy are among the companies included in the pilot project with each receiving a Rural Growth Network grant towards the two-year contract hire costs of an electric car.
Each company will also benefit from 12 months of project support, vehicle monitoring and an eco-driving training opportunity designed to optimise the use of the vehicle. Dedicated charging points have also been provided at each company's premises.
As can be seen on Next Green Car's Zap-Map, Warkshire's EV charging infrastructure is well-developed allowing EV owners to make longer journeys with ease.
Mike Woollacott, project director, said: "Our expectations are that electric vehicles will reduce fuel costs for the businesses, lower annual maintenance costs and of course improve air quality. And we are sure that everyone will enjoy the new driving experience that electric vehicles offer."
CWLEP, Greenwatt Technology