Lakehouse and Camden Council trial electric vehicles
16 Apr 2012
In March 2012 Camden Council offered local businesses and organisations the opportunity to trial electric vehicles (EVs) to assess the suitability for their work. As Camden Council’s long term framework partner Lakehouse was glad to take part in the two week trial which was aimed at encouraging a shift to vehicles that have no tailpipe emissions, thus contributing to improved air quality in Camden.
Lakehouse trialed the Renault Kangoo Z.E. Van - an all electric van. It has the same load carrying capability as the diesel Kangoo, however it has no tailpipe emissions, it is virtually silent, it has no clutch and no gears – making it easy to drive around urban areas. Lakehouse is committed to conducting its business in a sustainable way, and so was keen to see if an electric van could meet its needs and replace any of its current fleet.
During the trial the Kangoo E.V. van was used for transporting staff and building materials between Lakehouse’s sites around London. There were no duties that the company’s vans carry out which the electric Kangoo couldn’t perform. Peter Jones, Environmental Co-ordinator at Lakehouse, says that although staff were initially sceptical about driving an electric vehicle that view had changed by the end of the trial. Sam Humbert, Electrical Supervisor, stated that “the van is silent and nippy, and much better for driving through the traffic in London.”
Lakehouse has decided to purchase a Renault Kangoo E.V. van and is looking at replacing some of its other vehicles with electric models. Peter Jones recommends the EV trials, saying that they would definitely be worthwhile for other companies to try. The benefits of electric vehicles are:
• Running costs are approximately one fifth of diesel vehicles
• Exempt from London congestion charge and road tax
• Government Plug-in Car Grant incentive offers buyers 20% – up to £8000 – off the price of an electric van
• 100% first-year allowance for companies purchasing electric vans, enabling them to offset the cost against their corporation tax bill in year one
• No tail pipe emissions, so contribute to improved air quality
• Zero CO2 emissions in use if recharged from a 100% renewable energy tariff
• Quiet and easy to drive
• Less maintenance required