An original £9.3 million investment was put forward to local authorities to encourage businesses with diesel vans to switch to electric with a free two-month trial. This is just one initiative being put forward by the Government to cut down on carbon emissions before the 2050 deadline of achieving carbon neutrality.
One of the first local authorities to take part in the scheme was Kent County Council, through the Kent Realising Electric Vans Scheme (REVS).
They took delivery of 20 all-electric Renault Kangoo E-Tech and four Renault Zoe Vans, but are hoping that Kent REVS will eventually have a fleet of 48 EVs.
The Renault vans feature a bespoke Kent REVS livery that highlights their 100 percent electric power.
They also come equipped with satellite navigation and ply lining in the load area.
“Kent County Council is also making the transition from petrol and diesel for its own fleet and by 2030 our target is to be 100 percent electric.”
There are currently plans in the works to expand the network of electric charging points across Kent.
The Kent REVS scheme is working alongside the Low Carbon Across the South and East (LoCASE) programme.
Its aim is to help business become more competitive and profitable while encouraging low carbon solutions.
The programme provides grants for businesses of up to £10,000, as well as training workshops and fully funded events.
One of the service users is Edibleculture, a gardening supplies business, who purchased a Renault Kangoo I ZE electric van.
Chris Williams, Director of Edibleculture, spoke about the possibility of further investments into an electric van.
He said: “We’ve got one electric van and an older diesel van which we’re looking to get a slightly bigger electric one.
“We wouldn’t have been able to get out electric van because we got 40 percent back with the cost of the van, which was obviously funded by this LoCASE grant.
“We also got a small grant to install a charging point here at work, so the incentives are really good and that’s really helped us.
“Any sort of business incentive or grant scheme that can help us make that change would definitely be beneficial to us.”
The key benefit of this scheme is to reduce the carbon footprint of businesses and individuals.
Thanks to the new electric vans, an estimated saving of 1.93 tonnes of carbon emissions will be made per year.
The business is also expected to make a cost saving of £2,290 per year in diesel.