Electric vans available for Sheffield businesses to try for free

Businesses which use diesel vehicles can now trial electric vans with a new scheme aimed at cutting air pollution.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 7:00 am

Sheffield Council has a total of 30 electric vehicles that they are making available for local businesses, charities and organisations to trial with free hire.

Light commercial vehicles such as vans are only 13 per cent of the traffic on the roads but contribute to more than a quarter of the harmful emissions in Sheffield.

Research commissioned by the council shows that some 52 per cent of local drivers were found to be favourable towards electric vehicles; but reported that the biggest barriers they face are the high up-front cost and concerns about how far they can drive before needing to recharge.

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Sheffield Council has 30 electric vehicles available for local businesses, charities and organisations to trial with free hire.

Highways England and the council have funded the trial, which will allow businesses to decide if electric vans are suitable before making the investment to switch.

Electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions, reducing local air pollution and carbon emissions. They are also up to 50 per cent cheaper to run, when compared to fossil fuels.

Rapid charging stations, which have recently been introduced in Sheffield, can fill 80 per cent of the vehicle’s battery in under an hour.

They are located in council car parks and on-street parking across the city, including four locations in the city centre.

Douglas Johnson, executive member for climate change, environment and transport, said: “Transporting food, medicine and other goods is vital but requires a lot of energy. Currently, most of this is powered by fossil fuels.

“If we want to reduce air pollution and tackle the climate emergency, we need to help Sheffield find alternatives.

“I recognise this can be a big challenge for many small businesses. We’ve already helped 26 businesses invest in electric cargo bikes for small deliveries, and this trial will help give local businesses confidence to invest in an electric van.”

There is no cost for the hire, but businesses will need to pay a refundable deposit and will also be required to provide their own insurance for the length of the two month trial.

Details about how to trial a van can be found via Sheffield Council’s website here: www.sheffield.gov.uk/cleanair?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=#ElectricVansTrial