Saturday, 21 March 2015

Government plugs in and adds electric cars to its fleet . . .


Government plugs in and adds electric cars to its fleet

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More than 100 plug-in cars will join the Government fleet as part of the ultra-low emission campaign

The Government has continued its commitment to greener transport by adding more than 100 plug-in cars and vehicles to its fleet.

Fifteen government departments and agencies, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence and the Home Office, will benefit from adding 140 ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) to their fleets as part of a £5million investment to reduce emissions.

The fleet includes cars (such as the British-built all-electric Nissan Leaf) and vans, and will be used by the Government when transporting staff and equipment.

The Government Car Service, which provides cars for ministers, will also adopt four ultra-low emission vehicles. The move will help the environment, but also cut down on fuel bills footed by the taxpayer.

This announcement is the first phase in a project designed to illustrate the effectiveness of the vehicles, and encourage fleets to commit to greater take-up over the coming years.

Transport minister Baroness Kramer said: "This is an important step. These cars will save taxpayers money on running costs and will bring low emissions benefits to our fleet. Today’s announcement proves that Britain is leading the electric charge while supporting the growth of this important industry."

The announcement continues the Government's support of electric vehicles. So far, more than 25,000 £5,000 grants have been handed to buyers of plug-in vans and cars since 2010.

Even the traditionally quiet January sales market saw nearly 2,000 claims, and total sales in 2014 were four times the level of the previous year. The UK is now ahead of France and Germany in take-up, placing it at the forefront of the technology.

The £5million investment into the new Government fleet will also fund take-up by the wider public sector – including councils, police forces and the NHS – of plug-in vehicles and pay for charge points to be installed to allow the vehicles to be charged at work.

Business minister Matthew Hancock added: "We want to make the UK one of the best places in the world to design, manufacture and sell ultra-low emission vehicles. This important step demonstrates government’s commitment to promoting the economic and environmental benefits of these cars.

"The investment forms the latest part of a £500million package set aside for ULEV vehicles announced last year."

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