Leeds Teaching Hospitals has launched its first electric vehicle.
The Nissan e-NV200 van will be used for a range of tasks, including delivering post and small goods around the different hospital sites in the city. It has been supplied by Leeds City Council.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals has around 30 vehicles which are essential to delivering many of its services between sites and this is an important step forward in making the fleet more sustainable.
The van took its first trip on Clean Air Day (June 15), a nationwide campaign where the public were encouraged to leave their cars at home or to switch off the engine where possible. As well as being more environmentally friendly and reducing emissions, the van will also allow the health trust to benefit from fuel savings.
It is one of six vehicles supplied by Leeds City Council to the health trust. The other five are diesel. Trials of the electric vehicle have already been conducted for security and pathology services at Leeds Teaching Hospitals and this has seen great success, with more vehicles set to be implemented in the future.
Head of facilities Chris Ayres said: “The new van is the first step in our aim to have 20 per cent of our fleet electric by 2018 and we hope to continue to increase our charging points and the fleet. It’s great to be working in partnership with Leeds City Council and this enables us to contribute to the overall aim for Leeds to be a low sulphur city by 2020.”
Introducing a low carbon fleet is one of a range of measures implemented as part of the Trust’s sustainability campaign, GRASP (Green, Recycle, be Aware, be Sustainable for our Patients). The campaign aims to reduce the carbon footprint of hospitals in Leeds and save money through steps like improving recycling and saving energy. Leeds wants to become one of the greenest health trusts in the UK by 2020.
Staff in hospitals across the NHS Trust in Leeds made pledges for National Clean Air Day including walking or cycling to work, sharing tips with patients and switching off the engine.
Leeds hosted several events for the health initiative last Thursday. In City Square there was a grass pledge wall and car garden with the theme ‘What Leeds could look like in 10 years if we make a change to improve air quality’.
Leeds General Infirmary hosted an information stand in the Jubilee wing. While The University of Leeds and Kirkstall Valley Primary School also marked National Clean Air Day with events.