Better Late Than Never: Longbridge caretaker tests out electric cars for Birmingham City Council

July 2nd, 2015 § Comments Off on Better Late Than Never: Longbridge caretaker tests out electric cars for Birmingham City Council § permalink

Caretaker Gary Chalke demonstrates his electric works van which he can keep and charge on his driveway at home in Longbridge

Caretaker Gary Chalke demonstrates his electric works van which he can keep and charge on his driveway at home in Longbridge

A caretaker from Longbridge has been selected to test out electric cars for the whole of Birmingham City Council.

The authority has installed a charging point in Gary Chalke’s home to see if it can save thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash from its budgets.

Over the next three months, Gary, a district neighbourhood caretaker, will be tasked with using a low carbon Nissan e-NV200 van to measure its cost-efficiency.

If the trial is successful, and money is seen to be saved, more council staff will be asked to drive electric vehicles and offered the British Gas charging points, either at home or their workplace.

What is an electric car?

An earlier trial involving a pool car, a Nissan Leaf, used by care workers found that, as well as having zero carbon emissions, the car cost £1,660 less to maintain and tax over five years compared to regular council vehicles, and saved 6.2p per mile on running costs – cositng 3.3p instead of the 9.5p per mile for diesel.

Council cabinet member for neighbourhood management John Cotton said: “The results from the initial trial are encouraging and show there are clear advantages to making our fleet of vehicles greener.

“But we need to test a number of different scenarios to get the most out of such technology. Doing this the right way will save the council and the taxpayer money, while also helping to address issues relating to air quality and the health and wellbeing of our citizens.

“This latest trial will help shape a green vehicle fleet for the council in future.”

Andy Butler from British Gas added: “Innovative trials like this demonstrate that using electric vehicles as part of a council’s fleet can bring significant benefits – from saving money to improving local air quality.

“Electric vehicles are also really convenient for council staff as they can be charged at home or at work while they’re parked. The charging point we’ve installed is as easy to use as plugging in a mobile phone, so we’re confident that it will support the neighbourhood caretaker in their duties.“

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