Southampton City Council has introduced its first electric vehicles for staff to use to replace current diesel-run vehicles.
The council say the six Nissan E-NV200 vans will cost 97% less to â€˜fuelâ€™ and have â€œfar lowerâ€ associated maintenance costs. There will also be eight new charging points installed for theÂ fleet vehicles.
It comes as part of the councilâ€™s commitment to cleaner air and its aim to convert 20% of its fleet to electric vehicles by 2020.
Christopher Hammond, cabinet member for sustainable living at Southampton City Council, explained that the six vehicles prove that air quality is being â€œtaken seriouslyâ€ by the council.
â€œElectric vehicles could save an estimated 400 tonnes of carbon emissions, helping the environment and delivering cleaner air for everyone in Southampton,â€ he explained.
â€œThis is part of our wider Air Quality Strategy that includes a huge range of actions, and it is one of the ways that the council are leading by example when it comes to improving the cityâ€™s air quality.â€
In addition to the eight charging points, an extra 30 on-streetÂ points will be installed for public use in the councilâ€™s car parks across the city by the end of next month. Itâ€™s hoped this will increase opportunities for those owning electric cars to recharge their vehicles whilst shopping or using other city centre facilities, which is also a key priority for the council.
Before the roll out of the new vehicles, staff who will be using these first electric vehicles took part in inductions that included test driving an eclectic vehicle beforehand to get used to driving a different type of engine.