Barnet council has invested in five zero-emission capable vehicles as part of its work to improve the environmental and air quality performance of its fleet.
Procured as part of a pilot scheme in partnership with E-Car Club, the new vehicles include two electric and three hybrid cars.
These will predominantly be available for council business use, enabling staff to travel across the borough to deliver services, although residents will also be able to hire the vehicles with one available 24 hours a day and two vehicles available outside of business hours.
The council will roll out a larger fleet of pool cars for staff should the pilot prove to be successful.
The new vehicles were officially launched during a ceremony at Barnet House on Thursday 30 November, with the E-Car Club performing a demonstration session on how to use the vehicles and connect to the charging points.
Councillor Dean Cohen, chairman of Barnet councilâ€™s Environment Committee, said: â€œWe are always looking for innovative ways to improve air quality across the borough and these new vehicles are a further step in the right direction. By providing an opportunity to residents to use these environmentally-friendly cars, the council is also encouraging people to be less reliant on owning their own vehicles.â€
Chris Morris, managing director of E-Car Club added: â€œWe are delighted to launch this scheme in partnership with Barnet Council. By deploying a fleet of five electric and hybrid vehicles across two key locations (Barnet House and North London Business Park) we are able to provide a smart, environmentally-friendly solution for the councilâ€™s business travel needs.â€
â€œFurthermore, these vehicles are available for public use on a flexible, hourly basis at just Â£5.50 per hour/ Â£45 per day, reinforcing the councilâ€™s commitment to a clean, sustainable London borough by providing a real alternative to private car ownership for residents.â€
Acquiring the new vehicles follows the councilâ€™s announcement earlier this year to invest Â£400,000 in electric vehicle charging points within the borough (see airqualitynews.com story).