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.