Hitachi Capital in hybrid van trial
The four Ashwoods Hybrid Transit Vans are supplied by Hitachi Capital under contract hire and through the Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP), which enables chosen public sector organisations to test out environmental technologies in a real world setting.
During the first phase of the trial, LCC will be required to provide qualitative and quantitative feedback on the operation of the Ashwoods Hybrid Transits. Each time the fuel cap is opened, drivers will need to enter data into an emissions meter fitted in the vehicle, which will enable analysis and reporting on the fuel costs, mileage and mpg of each vehicle. Ashwoods Hybrid Transits are expected to report an estimated 15% saving on standard vehicle emissions.
John Carrington, fleet & transport services manager, Liverpool City Council, said: 'It has always been a priority for the city council to find ways of reducing the carbon output of the fleet, but the cost of adopting new technologies can be prohibitive. Access to the LCVPP fund, in addition to the leasing support from Hitachi Capital, has given us an unprecedented opportunity to pioneer this new sustainable technology with minimal financial risk.'
Jon Lawes, divisional managing director, Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Services, added: 'Leasing companies are traditionally wary of largely unproven technologies like hybrid-power, but we were very keen to partner with Ashwoods to offer leasing as a funding alternative.
'Innovation is vital in the development of low-carbon vehicles, and we are very pleased to be a part of the LCVPP programme.'
Managed by Cenex on behalf of the Department for Transport, the LCVPP provides participating public sector organisations with access to a central fund of £20 million to compensate for the extra cost of acquiring alternatively fuelled vehicles.
There is potential for the LCVPP to receive a further £30 million worth of funding for phase two of the trials, should the early results prove successful.