As part of Newtownabbey Borough Council’s ongoing commitment to providing a “Greener, Cleaner, Safer Borough”, the Council’s Environmental Services department has purchased two electric vehicles. The two Renault Kangoo vans will be used by the Cleansing and Parks Departments.
Hugh Kelly, Director of Environmental Services explains;
“With a view to engaging with alternative fuel vehicles, rather than the purchase of conventional diesel vehicles, this is a first for us. Electric vehicles are an emerging and fast moving industry concept. The Council is committed to tackling issues of sustainable transport, climate change and the green economy and plans to replace small Council vehicles, when practicable, with electric ones. The new electric vehicles are the commencement of this journey plan for NBC.”
Although electric vehicles are more expensive to buy, there is currently a government grant in place which allows a reduction of 20% and electric cars have significantly lower running costs when compared to petrol or diesel equivalents. The British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association has calculated that depending upon when and how an electric vehicle is charged, it will cost 2-4p per mile in comparison to 10-14p per mile for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle. With tax duty for the electric vehicle being free in comparison to £215 for a diesel vehicle it is estimated that the Council will save in the region of £3500 over the life of the vehicle.
The Council is one of the members of the ecar consortium project and it is anticipated that at least 5 charging points will be located within the Borough by March 2013.