Kirklees Council’s cabinet is set to approve an investment of £6.25m to bring in new high-tech fleet vehicles and take a significant step towards the greening of the council’s fleet.

The proposed investment will replace some models of ageing vehicles with electric vehicles alongside newer, greener engine models. This will include a number of electric vehicles for Waste and Recycling services including an electric refuse collection vehicle, following a successful trial.

The proposed investment is an extension to the previous three-year Capital Investment Vehicle Replacement Programme which was agreed by Cabinet on 11 December 2018.

Cllr Will Simpson, cabinet member for Culture and Greener Kirklees, who will present the proposal to cabinet, sees the investment as essential in meeting the councils’ aim to be a leader in reducing carbon emissions.

‘Kirklees Council has already outperformed its previous carbon reduction targets, achieving more than a 53% reduction over the last decade – but there is much more to do to meet our bold ambitions of being a carbon neutral district by 2038,’ he said.

‘This new investment will support the council’s climate emergency commitments and air quality improvement work across the district. As well as reducing our tailpipe emissions, it will make sure that we have a fit for purpose fleet with reduced running costs and reduced downtime and improved service delivery.’

He continued: ‘Our ultimate aim is to transition to an entirely electric fleet and we are taking significant strides with 69% of the council’s operated cars now electric or partially electrically powered. Our plans for an electric refuse collection vehicle, van tipper and compact sweeper take us even further in the right direction.’

‘This is a major step forward for the council in our aim to create a carbon neutral Kirklees by 2038, and I look forward to the Cabinet giving it its full approval,’ he added.

As part of the council’s transition to a greener vehicle fleet, £1m of the £2m Climate Emergency funding agreed to support upgrading the fleet to electric has been invested in a further 35 electric Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs). This brings the percentage of electric vehicles in fleet up to 7.5%.