Businesses, organisations and charities can drive an electric van free of charge for two months, thanks to a new scheme that has launched in Leeds.
The EV trial scheme has been launched by Leeds City Council and Highways England in a bid to improve air quality in the city.
The council said that they hope the trial will encourage organisations and businesses to invest in electric vehicles by highlighting how much money and emissions can be saved.
Organisations will either be able to borrow a Renault Kangoo or a Nissan NV200 and in the next few weeks, organisations will also be able to trial a range of electric private vehicles and e-bikes.
More than 250 businesses have already expressed their interest, from dog-walkers, catering companies and gas distributors.
Cllr James Lewis, executive member for resources at Leeds City Council, said: ‘Everyone has a responsibility to reduce emissions, help tackle air pollution and reduce their carbon emissions.
‘We know that changing to electric vehicles would be a leap in the dark for some, so this trial aims to support businesses to understand the charging regime without having to make an upfront commitment.
‘Not only are electric vehicles better for the environment, but they are also cheaper to run and maintain.
‘We encourage businesses and organisations from across the region to consider taking up a free trial. Evs could help them save on running costs while also reducing levels of pollution in the city.’
Christopher Plumb, Highways England air quality specialist, said: ‘We are excited to be supporting this project by Leeds City Council which encourages more businesses to try out electric vehicles. This project forms part of a programme of activity by Highways to improve air quality across our network.’
In September 2019, Leeds City Council confirmed that the city’s delayed Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will come into force in July 2020 at the earliest.
Leeds’ CAZ will cover over half of Leeds city centre, with HGVs, buses and coaches set to be charged £50 per day for travelling in the zone if they fail to meet the minimum emissions standards.
Taxis and private hire vehicles will be charged £12.50 per day, or a reduced rate of £50 per week if the vehicles are licensed in Leeds.
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