In line with its forward-thinking ambition to transition to zero emission transport as quickly as possible, Nottingham City Council (NCC) already has a wide range of electric vehicles in operation, and over 100 EVs will soon be on the fleet.
Vehicles include cars such as the Renault ZOE and Nissan LEAF, vans include the Renault Kangoo and Nissan e-NV200, as well as LDV minibuses, electric cage tippers and electric sweepers. New EVs that are due include 11 more cage tippers, in addition to the three currently on the fleet.
A fleet review initially identified a number of options for electric vehicle deployment, and EVs were also trialled. Some council vehicles only cover 15-20 miles each day, so EVs are perfect. As an example, NCC’s minibuses, which transport children with special needs to school, have a 20-30 mile route, yet they have a 120 mile driving range. NCC has many teams, such as security, highway, enforcement and parking, that are city centre-based, and so electric vans are an ideal solution.
The operators prefer the vehicles with electric powertrains compared to the previous diesel engines, as there are no tailpipe emissions, they’re quieter, and better to drive.
Nottingham City Council is also looking at a new pool system, which will give staff access to EVs, which will make complete sense for driving within the city, and also for longer trips such as to neighbouring Derby, a 15-20 mile journey.
To help offset what is in some cases a higher initial purchase price for electric vehicles, NCC is exploring a number of options, including keeping the EVs for a longer time period (ten years) than the seven years of the previous diesel vehicles.
Charging the fleet of EVs has been a learning process; one outcome has been the introduction of vehicle-to-grid chargers – a total of 40 V2G chargers are due to be installed, which will provide the ability for the vehicles to put energy back into the grid.
Nottingham is also in the process of transforming one of its parks to only operate electric vehicles and machinery, and work is even currently underway to create Nottingham City Council’s own ULEV servicing centre.
Annmarie Scott-Reddish, ULEV & Commercial Project Manager at Nottingham City Council, says: “Some drivers weren’t sure about the proposed switch to electric vehicles, but once they’d tried them, they didn’t want to go back to diesel. Nottingham City Council has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2028 and decarbonising the fleet is a major part of this ambition”.