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University of Bristol replaces four diesel vans with EVs

The University of Bristol has deployed four electric vehicles after it identified their benefits for specific operations compared to diesels.

Provided by Wessex Garages’ Nissan brand centre at Cribbs Causeway, one of the Nissan e-NV200 Combi vans is being used by the university’s Print Services team, with one for its postal team and two for its maintenance team. The University of Bristol also has four on-site charging points.

David Tonkin, estates manager at the University of Bristol, said: “We decided to look in to electric vehicles for a variety of reasons both in the interests of sustainable fleet management and basic operational requirements.

“Our Print Services team were having difficulties with their existing diesel vehicle, which wasn’t suited to a hilly, city environment with the stop-start, frequent short journeys we tend to make at the University. After looking at the options available, they trialled an electric van from Nissan and found that it could do the job without any of the difficulties experienced with the diesel, such as having to run it up the motorway once a week to clear the particulate filter.

“Having trialled the van, we looked at other areas where we might benefit from using electric vehicles and identified our post and maintenance teams. The vehicles are more suited to the multiple short journeys we take each day, they improve the air quality in our city campus and as they all return to the same spot each night, range isn’t an issue as we can charge them overnight.

“An added benefit is the time saved. We now no longer have downtime fuelling the vehicles off-site or ‘exercising’ them up the motorway to clear the particulate filters. The Nissan e-NV200 has the right range and load capacity for our usage so there is no operational compromise we’ve had to make, in fact, they’re better for our purposes than the previous vehicles.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.

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