18.7.2014Govt fleets funded to introduce EVs
Transport minister Baroness Kramer has announced that all of the government's fleets will be supplied with funding to introduce electric vehicles into their ranks.
The Â£5 million 'Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Readiness Project' has been revealed as the first step towards making all government vehicles electrically-powered.
At first, central government fleets will be the focus, with plans to bring in over 150 plug-in cars and vans. Specifically, the Government Car Service, which presently has 85 vehicles used by ministers, will be the initial target with electric cars expected to be in operation by autumn 2014.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said: "I am delighted the Government Car Service is leading the move to electric vehicles and I will be one of the first in line to use one. This is the right thing to do, with much lower running costs and close to zero emissions, these vehicles will save the taxpayer money and be much greener."
"We are also investing significantly in ultra-low emission vehicles which will help ensure they play an important role in the UK economy as well as the environment."
Baroness Kramer added: "Government must lead by example. Today's investment will see government switching a significant number of plug-in cars and vans into our fleets and leading the electric charge."
The scheme will be extended into a second phase this autumn to provide the public sector including councils, police forces and the NHS, to purchase more EVs.
Charging point infrastructure will be installed to meet the needs of the new government EVs.
Currently, there is no compiled list of suitable vehicles. However, the Nissan LEAF is likely to feature and perhaps the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV also. The Nissan E-NV200 is expected to be a popular choice to replace existing petrol-powered vans.
Cars and vans will be recommended on a like-for-like basis and the reviews will consider the whole life cost of the vehicles to ensure that each replacement makes economic sense.