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Islington Council acquires further hybrid vans for fleet

The council initially invested in eight Ashwoods hybrid vans back in 2009 and now owns a total of 37 vehicles – the largest local authority fleet of hybrid light commercial vehicles in the UK. The vehicles will reduce CO₂ emissions by 33 tonnes and save the council an estimated £48,000 in diesel fuel over the next three years. 

Fleet and depot manager Chris Rutherford said: ‘Islington has been fully committed to greener purchasing for many years. With these hybrid vehicles we can green our fleet in a way that also reduces the burden on the public purse by lowering fuel spend.’ 

The 3.5t vehicles – a mixture of panel vans and tippers – are used by Islington’s Parks & Environment team for a range of operations from grounds keeping to waste and recycling collection. 

Rutherford added: ‘The vehicles perform well, reduce our fuel use and therefore save us money and lower our emissions. The drivers like them because they are hassle-free. There is no extra maintenance required, or extensive operator training. To the driver, they run just like normal Transits.’ 

Ashwoods’ Hybrid drive technology reduces fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions by 15-25%. Unlike other hybrids or electric vehicles, it never needs plugging into a charging point. 

Islington is also trialling Ashwoods’ Lightfoot in-cab driver behaviour system, which advises the driver on how to operate the van in the most fuel-efficient manner, by using real-time audio and visual aids in the cab. The technology is proven on average to deliver fuel consumption improvements of 15%. 

Islington Council purchased the Ashwoods fleet through the Department for Transport’s Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP), which provided a subsidy of £3,430 per vehicle. 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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 edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.

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