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City of York Council looks to go electric following EST initiative

The council was keen to find out more about the potential benefits of plug-in vehicles as part of its Low Emission Strategy and so applied to take part in the Plugged-In Fleets Initiative, which demonstrates how organisations can cut fuel costs and carbon emissions by integrating electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles into their fleets.

The council has implemented many of the initiative’s final recommendations, including purchasing a Nissan LEAF, which was shown to have slightly lower running costs than existing vehicles. This trial has proved so successful that it is in the process of procuring another five electric pool cars.

The council intends to draw on its experiences to promote its fleet as an exemplar of electric vehicle implementation to other organisations, encouraging the transition towards cleaner fuels in York.

Derek McCreadie, low emission officer, City of York Council, said: ‘From the detailed analysis undertaken by EST, it was clear that we had lots to gain by switching to electric vehicles. EST’s comparison of our existing fleet with new electric vehicles demonstrated what was achievable in terms of lower operational costs and emissions. As a result, we are now eager to run electric vehicles in our fleet and can do so with confidence.’

Other fleets can also benefit from the EST Plugged-In Fleets Initiative. Following the success of the original programme, the EST received additional funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles to establish the PIugged-in Fleets Initiative 100 (PIFI 100). This new advice service offers 100 organisations in England the opportunity to receive free analysis and guidance on how plug-in vehicles might work for them.

Caroline Watson from the Energy Saving Trust said: ‘We have already received 25 applications across the country for PIFI 100, which demonstrates that the interest in the plug-in vehicle market is growing. Early adopters like City of York Council are already enjoying cost and carbon savings, and setting an example that we are confident more organisations will follow.’

To register an interest in taking part in PIFI 100, email [email protected] or call the Energy Saving Trust transport team on 0207 227 0310. More information on PIFI 100 can be found at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/pifi

The findings from the first stage of the Plugged-in Fleets Initiative are available as a report online at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Publications2/Transport-fleets/Research-and-statistics/Plugged-In-Fleets-Initiative-Charging-Forward

Natalie Middleton

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