Free trials of electric cars, vans and e-bikes up for grabs
Fleets in West Yorkshire have the chance to trial electric cars and vans and e-bikes free of charge for up to two months to help make a business case for switching to EVs.
Run by Leeds City Council and Highways England, the EV Trials initiative is aimed at businesses, organisations and charities to help cut carbon emissions, backed by tailored advice and support; it’s already garnered interest from more than 250 businesses and private hire drivers, including a diverse range of industries.
Eligible fleets can trial a Nissan Leaf or a Renault Kangoo Z.E., while the scheme also offers access to e-bikes. The vehicles will come fitted with black box technology, used to see how the vehicle compares to operators’ current transport.
There are currently more than 140 electric vehicle charge points across Leeds to use during the trial, many of which have multiple charge bays available. Furthermore, new parking developments in Leeds will need to include electric charge points while Leeds City Council is also installing 88 rapid charging bays across West Yorkshire that will be free to use until October 2021, in partnership with Engie and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. Leeds residents using low-emission vehicles also get free parking in council car parks.
The launch of the scheme follows a recent consultation more than 70% of Leeds residents surveyed said that they would consider switching to a low emission vehicle already or would do so if barriers were removed.
Councillor James Lewis, executive member for resources at Leeds City Council, said: “Everyone has a responsibility to reduce emissions, help tackle air pollution and reduce their carbon footprint. We know that changing to electric vehicles would be a leap in the dark for some so this trial is to support businesses to understand the charging regime without having to make an upfront financial commitment.
“We’d encourage businesses and organisations from across the region to consider taking up a free trial. EVs could help them save on running costs while reducing levels of pollution in Leeds.”