Islington Council invests in hybrid van technology and will create fuel savings of £48.000

Published:  02 July, 2013

Islington Council has purchased a further 29 hybrid vans that will lower its greenhouse gas emissions and fuel bills.

The investment means that Islington now owns 37 hybrid vans - the largest local authority fleet of hybrid light commercial vehicles in the UK. The vehicles will reduce CO2 emissions by33 tonnes and save the council an estimated £48,000 in diesel fuel over the next three years.

Fleet and Depot Manager Chris Rutherford said: ‘Islington has been fully committed to greener purchasing for many years. With these hybrid vehicles we can green our fleet in a way that also reduces the burden on the public purse by lowering fuel spend.'

Islington was one of the pioneers in the use of hybrid vans, initially investing in eight Ashwoods vehicles back in 2009.

Chris added: ‘The vehicles perform well, reduce our fuel use and therefore save us money and lower our emissions. The drivers like them because they are hassle-free. There is no extra maintenance required, or extensive operator training. To the driver, they run just like normal Transits.'

The 3.5t vehicles – a mixture of panel vans and tippers - are used by Islington's Parks & Environment team, in a range of operations from grounds keeping to waste and recycling collection.

The award-winning Ashwoods Hybrid drive technology reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 15-25%. The system is entirely self-powered; it stores energy every time the vehicle slows down then transfers it to the wheels via an electric motor. Unlike other hybrids or electric vehicles, it never needs plugging into a charging point - and operators don't have to worry about the battery going flat.

Islington is also trialling Ashwoods' innovative Lightfoot in-cab driver behaviour system. Lightfoot advises the driver on how to operate the van in the most fuel-efficient manner, by using real-time audio and visual aids in the cab. The technology is proven on average to deliver fuel consumption improvements of 15%.

Islington Council purchased the Ashwoods fleet through the Department for Transport's Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP). This initiative aims to help public sector bodies in England and Wales to procure Ashwoods Hybrid LCV's. The DfT provides a subsidy of £3,430 per vehicle. DfT provided subsidies for the first 500 Ashwoods vehicles ordered – and all orders had to be received by 31stMarch 2013.

Based in Exeter, Devon, Ashwoods Automotive is a supplier of hybrid and low carbon light commercial vehicles and vehicle systems.

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