Pilot Project Underway With Electric Vehicles

Pilot Project Underway With Electric Vehicles

Monday 24th Feb 2020

Bridgend County Borough Council has hired four small electric vans in place of existing diesel vehicles as part of a three-month pilot project. Pictured, the vehicles being charged at Cenin Renewables. Credit: Cenin Renewables.

Bridgend County Borough Council is leading on a three-month pilot using electric vehicles for staff who travel across the county as part of their roles.

The local authority has hired four small electric vans in place of existing diesel vehicles, with three set aside for a team in facilities management and one being used as a pool car for a number of staff.

The vehicles are charged overnight at Cenin Renewables, based near Porthcawl, using 100% green electricity generated from the company’s own wind, solar and food waste energy, with an arrangement to use charging points at other local businesses when necessary.

Cabinet member for communities Richard Young said the pilot project was the start of “radical change” for the council.

It is about running council vehicles more efficiently and reducing the council’s carbon footprint.

We already have enough data to show electric vehicles can make a difference not only to the reduction of carbon emissions but also to the reduction of fuel claims, enabling the council to save a substantial amount of time and money.

Cabinet member for communities Richard Young

The aim of the pilot is to prove a business case to obtain funding which would enable the local authority to buy around eight electric vehicle charging points for its offices in Ravens Court.

Cllr Young said: “A typical fossil-fuelled vehicle would cost us around £11 in fuel for every 100 miles - for these electric vehicles, it is set at £5 per 100 miles meaning you could save half the amount we currently spend.

“The vans also only need to come into the workshops on an annual basis to be serviced.

“On top of the long-term cost benefits and the environmental benefits, you could argue it’s what we should be doing as a means of trying to attract and retain staff, and this is something we hope to look at in the near future.

“For me, if I had an electric vehicle at the moment, I would be concerned about where I could work because it’s actually a job limiter if your employer doesn’t have electric vehicle charging points.

“If our charging points are available to staff and it’s going to be hassle-free parking then that can only be a bonus.

“It’s also about future-proofing the fleet - we’ve got 15 years left of diesel and petrol cars, we have got to be planning for that.”

The electric vehicle charging points at Ravens Court will enable staff to gain access to electric pool cars - rather than the existing arrangement which involves using diesel vehicles.

Longer-term, the council is looking at installing further charging points at other sites such as the civic centre in Angel Street, the Rhiw car park and its Bryncethin depot.

The pilot project is a collaboration between South Wales Police and Bridgend County Borough Council – both organisations share a fleet services maintenance depot.

South Wales Police said its involvement in the scheme would feed into its own work on the use of electric vehicles.