Staff with the fully electric, wheelchair accessible vehicle

Community group gets first fully electric WAV

Published:  05 October, 2015

A community transport group in Yorkshire has become the first organisation in the country to acquire a new type of fully electric, wheelchair accessible vehicle.

Community Transport Calderdale (CTC) has taken ownership of a Brotherwood Envy - the first wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) to be driven solely by electric power.

The vehicle is based on the Nissan eNV-200 Combi, a battery-powered vehicle that shares technology with the UK's best-selling electric vehicle the Nissan Leaf.

With no noise and zero-emissions, electric vehicles such as the Envy offer the eco-friendly transport options that many fleets and authorities are expected to provide.

The charity, which provides a Community Car and Accessible Minibus Service to individuals and groups in Calderdale, will use the vehicle to transport wheelchair users and their carers on routine local trips. It has a range of up to 106 miles on a single charge and can be recharged to 80% capacity in as little as half an hour from an electric vehicle charging point.

The Envy has four passenger seats plus space for one wheelchair user to travel seated in their wheelchair. Wheelchair access is provided by a folding ramp at the back of the vehicle, with a powered restraint system making it quick and easy to load and secure the wheelchair passenger.

It can also be driven on a standard car driver's license – eliminating the need for CTC staff to undergo any further driver training.

Steve Welsh, CEO of Community Transport Calderdale, said: ‘Adding the electric WAV to our fleet has not only helped a number of people in the area with transport problems but has done so in a great eco-friendly and economical way. The running costs of this vehicle are minimal, and is a pilot project for the way forward in our future fleet.'

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