North East local authorities put i-MiEV to the test
Under the Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme run by Cenex, two cars will become part of the fleet at Gateshead Council, two at Newcastle City Council, one at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and one at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.
The vehicle trial forms part of the "Smart Move" trial, a major part of the collaboration between Cenex and Regional Development Agency One North East, and follows the first phase which involved all four of the local authorities and gave hundreds of drivers the chance to drive an electric car through placements in vehicle fleets and at public test drive events.
Both Gateshead Council and Newcastle Council are already part of the Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme, which is helping selected public bodies across the UK to update a number of commercial vehicles in their fleets with electric vans and trucks. As well as these electric cars, Gateshead Council has also ordered 10 electric and four hybrid vans to replace diesel powered vehicles. The two i-MiEVs add to Newcastle City Council’s current fleet of 19 electric powered vehicles with an additional four electric panel vans due for delivery within the next few months.
Councillor Wendy Taylor, executive member for environment, sustainability and transport at Newcastle City Council, said: 'We are delighted to take delivery of these two full-electric vehicles which further demonstrates the council’s commitment to ultra low carbon vehicles and the promotion of sustainable travel.
'Both vehicles will be incorporated into the council’s fleet of pool vehicles for business use by our staff. We will continue to work with the private sector to expand the number of full-electric vehicles used in the city and to show that electric vehicles are a practical proposition capable of fulfilling their transport needs.
'The vehicles will be in daily use and will help to further reduce the council’s carbon footprint whilst benefiting the air quality in the city.'
Dr Colin Herron, manufacturing and productivity manager at One North East, added: 'We enjoy a very productive partnership with colleagues at Cenex and I am delighted to see that our enthusiasm for this exciting new industry continues to be matched by our local authority partners. As further vehicles arrive on our roads in the coming months and our network of charging points grows further, it will become more and more common to see vehicles plugging in across the North East.'