A joint bid by Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council has successfully secured £25,000 for a research project to help fleet electrification.

The feasibility study will look at whether the depot at Warndon – home to the two councils’ waste collection, highway maintenance and other vehicles – can be fully electrified.

The £25,000 grant funding has been provided by the Midlands Net Zero Hub. The city council has also set aside £40,000 for the project and the county council has contributed £7,000.

The study will look into factors including the power requirements for running a full fleet of electric vehicles, the capacity of the power grid in the area and whether any upgrade is required, and the cost implications for a full electrification upgrade.

Cllr Karen Lewing, chair of Worcester City Council’s Environment Committee, said: ‘We are grateful to Midlands Net Zero Hub for supporting our aim of having a fully electric vehicle fleet, supporting the aims of our Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

‘The city council has already carried out trials with electric-powered waste collection lorries, and although the technology isn’t up to the standard we require yet, advances in this field are so rapid that we are confident it will be in a very few years.’

Cllr Mike Rouse, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: ‘It is widely acknowledged that the future of travel will likely include a combination of electricity, hydrogen, and possibly synthetic fuels. Given this, it is prudent to assess the viability of investing in electric infrastructure at the Warndon depot, a site that presents complex challenges and requires expert analysis. Such an investment is anticipated to yield significant benefits for residents down the line by building councils that are fit for the future.’

Alex Pearson, Midlands Net Zero Hub Projects Manager, said: ‘The Midlands Net Zero Hub is delighted to support the councils by providing some funding towards this study. This funding follows on from the successful 'Electrification of Depots' guide produced by the Hub and made available to councils across the Midlands.’

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