A fleet of environmentally-friendly electric vans have hit the road in East Devon as part of the district council’s drive to become carbon-neutral by 2040.
The authority is one of the first in the country to trial the seven specially-modified vehicles – each kitted out with a custom-made caged tipping body.
Their rechargeable batteries have a range of between 124 and 187 miles.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) is leasing the lower-emission Nissan ENV200 vans which will be used daily to help keep parks and public areas ‘clean and green’.
And plans are in place to convert more of its vehicles to electric in the future as part of a £100,000 programme.
Councillor Marianne Rixson, portfolio holder for climate action, said: “I am very encouraged by our greener fleet and I’m excited to see how this area of our work will progress in the future.
“Each and every one of us faces an enormous environmental challenge and any changes that we can make to reduce our footprint is a positive step forward.”
EDDC, which has been using electric vehicles since 2012, signed up to a Devon-wide climate change emergency declaration last year.
Its climate change action plan includes earmarking £100,000 towards the electrification of its fleet of vans and cars.
The ‘associated infrastructure’ of the environmentally-friendly motors initially costs more to buy than standard diesel or petrol vehicles.
EDDC has also been working ‘smart’ electric vehicle charging equipment installer Elmtronics, which has supplied four stations in Sidmouth.
The charge facilities can be increased ‘as more vehicles come on-stream’, says the council.