The English city of Leeds has taken delivery of 122 Renault Kangoo Z.E. electric vans. The city will use 102 in its services and will make the remaining 20 available to local companies as part of a new test programme called EV Trials Scheme.
The scheme, which Leeds City Council has launched in partnership with Highways England, aims to increase electric van use at businesses and organisations in West Yorkshire. Those interested to take part will receive the vehicles for up to two months free of charge. In return, Leeds Council will gather journey and charging data via the vans’ telematics. Users will then receive a tailored report highlighting the findings and the environmental and potential financial benefits that a switch to electric may bring.
The Renault Kangoo Z.E. will make up nearly half of the 50 electric vans and cars that are available to trial. The U.K. branch says the versatility of the van but also the availability – Renault delivered all of them already – were “key factors” for the Council’s decision to go with the French.
When launching the scheme, Councillor James Lewis, deputy leader at Leeds City Council, pointed to the “proud signatory of the Clean Van Commitment.” He also said “Leeds City Council already operate more electric vehicles than any other local authority” and is, therefore “looking forward to sharing the benefits of these vans free of charge with businesses and charities across West Yorkshire as part of our EV Trials scheme.”
Indeed, the addition of the new Renault e-vans to the City Council’s fleet will boost the amount of all-electric vehicles to more than 330. The all-electric vans replace several older vehicles with others being added due to the growth and scope of Leeds City Council services.
While the Council will use its existing charging infrastructure, Leeds is also working to increase the number of charging stations across town. Leeds is also one of three cities taking part in the Government’s Clean Air Zone scheme alongside Bristol and Birmingham. Plus, they aim to be carbon-neutral by 2030.
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