Kirklees Council has just added 25 new electric vans to their Homes and Neighbourhoods fleet as part of its mission to address the climate emergency.

Residents will start to see the electric vans with the new Kirklees Homes and Neighbourhoods branding driving round Kirklees in the coming weeks.

As well as reducing emissions, the new vans will also reduce noise pollution, which is a great advantage in residential areas. Existing vans, which will still have the former KNH logo, will also continue to operate and there will be a staged approach to the rebranding, rolled out over the coming months.

The council now has over 100 electric or hybrid vehicles in its fleet and is expanding this with a further £1m investment in electric vehicles. This recent delivery of 25 electric vans for Homes and Neighbourhoods, along with 10 elsewhere across the council, and the testing of other options to make the switch to electric is all part of the drive towards a carbon-neutral Kirklees.

It is estimated that these 25 electric vans alone will reduce Homes and Neighbourhood’s environmental impact by 24,873 litres of fuel and 65,166kg of Co2 emissions per year.

In November 2019, the Kirklees Climate Emergency Working Party (CEWP) created an action plan detailing how Kirklees will become carbon-neutral by at least 2038, investing in electric vehicles is part of phase one.

Other key actions to tackle the climate emergency are already underway, including investing £1m towards public infrastructure to encourage residents to make the switch to electric, boosting local woodland through the White Rose Forest Partnership, and establishing a Kirklees Climate Commission.

Cllr Will Simpson, cabinet member for Greener Kirklees, said: ‘We are fully committed to creating a carbon-neutral Kirklees – and we are determined to lead by example.

‘This investment in new electric vehicles is another step in taking diesel vehicles off the road and out of our fleet.

‘By converting our council fleet and equipment to ULEV equivalents, our vision of a carbon-neutral Kirklees is becoming ever closer.’