Getting charged up with new fleet

A huge proportion of the Council’s fleet of vehicles is set to be replaced with electric-powered alternatives.

Nearly £11m will be invested over the next six years in a total of 177 vehicles spanning many different departments of the organisation.

The announcement follows on from the recently announced Climate Emergency Action Plan which seeks to ensure that Plymouth is a carbon neutral city by 2030.

Of the 177 new vehicles, 54 will be 100% electric vehicles made up of cars and vans.

Over the eight year life-cycle of each vehicle, they will reduce carbon emissions by over 1,000 tonnes, reduce maintenance costs and improve air quality.

Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet member for Street Scene and the Environment said: “It is really exciting that so soon after putting our climate emergency plans into action that we are able to announce this major step.

“We’re going to replace fossil fuels with electric wherever we can wherever the technology allows to make sure that as a Council, we are practising what we preach.

“Carbon neutrality won’t come overnight but if we can set an example to others in the city, we hope that they will also follow suit when it comes to their own fleet replacement.”

While 54 vehicles will be 100% electric, the other 123 will be made up of specialist vehicles like skip trucks and tele-handlers and also refuse vehicles.

Sadly, the technology is not yet readily available to be able to run this fleet on electric alone. Some of the vehicles that the Council needs to keep services running to the required standards simply do not exist in electric form yet. Others that do don’t yet have the capability to be a viable replacement.

As soon as the technology develops, it will be considered in the future fleet replacement plan.

The first vehicles in the new programme are expected to be in use by Spring 2020.