New electric vehicles drive council towards zero emissions

Published: Friday 18 September 2020

Councillor John Anderson and Ian Mills from Renault photographed next to one of the new Renault ZOE electric vehicles

More than 140 new Renault electric vehicles have been ordered by the council – the largest order of its kind in Scotland.

Delivery is currently underway of 141 Renault ZOE electric cars, 104 of which will be used to enhance the pool car fleet used by staff. This means all the pool cars used by council staff will now be fully electric.

They will replace some of the current small diesel vehicles which staff use to attend meetings, jobs, site visits and training.

The remaining 37 vehicles will be deployed across a range of council services including Roads, Housing and Technical and South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture. When in service the new arrivals will mean 28 per cent of the council’s small fleet will be fully electric.

The new Renault ZOEs have a range of approximately 250 miles and can comfortably seat four adults.

Funding for the new vehicles was made possible thanks to a grant of more than £1million from Transport Scotland’s Switched on Fleets Programme.

Chair of South Lanarkshire Council’s Community and Enterprise Resources Committee, Councillor John Anderson, said: “We are delighted that these new electric vehicles will help us on our journey to reduce the amount of emissions across our entire fleet.

“We are aware of the Scottish Government’s targets to help fight climate change and we will continue to look at new and innovative ways to help us contribute to that.

“Such a large deployment of electric vehicles helps the council meet some of its objectives contained within the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy and associated Carbon Management Plan.

“We hope that as more of our staff have the opportunity to use the electric vehicles that it may help some of them choose them as their own personal choice of
transport in the future.

“On behalf of the council, I would like to thank Transport Scotland for the funding, and Renault and Park's of Hamilton for providing the vehicles.”

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “I’m pleased we have been able to provide over £1 million from the Scottish Government’s Switched on Fleets initiative to support South Lanarkshire Council’s leadership in decarbonising transport.

“We’ve set a bold ambition to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032, but the public sector needs to lead from the front in terms of the transition to zero-emission vehicles. That’s why last year we outlined an earlier target – phasing out the need for all new petrol and diesel cars from the public sector fleet by 2025. 

“This is the largest order of its kind in Scotland, which will improve air quality, reduce emissions and help respond to the Climate Emergency – supporting our journey towards net-zero by 2045.”

Vincent Tourette, Managing Director of Groupe Renault UK, added: “We are exceptionally pleased to see South Lanarkshire Council take delivery of the largest ever Scottish order for Renault Z.E. all-electric vehicles. 

“It’s another excellent illustration of how the Renault ZOE provides the perfect blend of usability, value and environmental compatibility that organisations essentially need to allow them to viably make the switch from conventional vehicles to EVs. 

“In this case, what’s also particularly good is that the Renault ZOEs will play a key role in introducing a very wide array of drivers to the many benefits of electric vehicles.”

The vehicles will soon be a regular sight on the roads around South Lanarkshire. Charging points for the vehicles currently exist across South Lanarkshire Council’s estate and this will also be expanded.

Councillor Anderson added: “The early feedback we have had from staff using the vehicles is very positive, with many praising how far they can travel on a single charge as well as how comfortable and responsive they are to drive.”

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