New electric council vehicles hit the streets of Leeds yesterday.
A total of 42 all electric vehicles will add to and replace existing electric and hybrid vehicles in the council’s fleet.
The vehicles are estimated to save £24,600 a year in fuel costs which is around 450,000 miles of driving.
Some of the vans and cars will be used to deliver council services primarily within the city centre, where the reduced emissions will have the most impact. The council hopes it is a step towards improved air quality - something it is keen to achieve after the city was named as an air pollution hotspot.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, a Labour member for Kirkstall and executive member for environment and sustainability, took the plug-in van on its inaugural journey.
She said: “A very famous frog once sang that it wasn’t easy being green. In Leeds we want to show that it is. Clearly we need vehicles to deliver many council services but we can do so in a way that is more sustainable.”
More parking for electric vehicles is being allocated in council car parks and through planning conditions the council is ensuring that new developments have suitable charging points.
Coun Yeadon added “Making the switch to electric vehicles means we can cut emissions from our business as usual operations and make not insignificant financial savings too. Having taken a van out for a spin, I can clearly see the benefits and I hope others will too.”
The council continues to encourage people to use sustainable transport and is offering ultra-low emission vehicle drivers a free parking permit for Leeds. It is also working with the transport industry to make it easier for people to make the switch to green. Discussions with bus companies are also ongoing.