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Islington UK’s greenest council fleet after 29-strong van swoop

By Kyle Linsay
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 14:27

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Islington Council are running the greenest LCV fleet in the UK after purchasing 29 new hybrid vans from Devon-based Ashwoods Automotive.

Aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions and fuel bills, the swoop means Islington now own 37 hybrid LCVs – the most of any council in the UK.

The vehicles will reduce CO2 emissions by 33tonnes and save the council an estimated £48,000 in diesel over the next three years.

Chris Rutherford, Fleet and Depot Manager at Islington Council, said: “Islington have been fully committed to greener purchasing for many years.

“With these hybrid vehicles we can green our fleet in a way that also reduces the burden on the public purse by lowering fuel spend.”

Islington Council purchased the Ashwoods fleet through the Department for Transport’s Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP).

This initiative helps public sector bodies in England and Wales to procure Ashwoods’ Hybrid LCVs, with The Department for Transport providing a £3,430 subsidy per vehicle.

Islington were one of the original local authority pioneers of hybrid vans, investing in eight vehicles from Ashwoods in 2009.

The 3.5tonne LCVs – a mixture of panel vans and tippers – are used by Islington’s Parks and Environment team, in operations ranging from groundkeeping to waste collection.

“The vehicles perform well, reduce our fuel use and therefore save us money and lower our emissions,” added Mr Rutherford.

“The drivers like them because they are hassle-free.

“There is no extra maintenance required, or extensive operator training.

“To the driver, they run just like normal Transits.”

The award-winning Ashwoods Hybrid drive technology reduces fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions by 15-25%.

Entirely self-powered, the system stores energy every time the vehicle slows down then transfers it to the wheels via an electric motor.

Unlike other hybrids or electric vehicles, it never needs plugging into a charging point – and operators don’t have to worry about the battery going flat.

Islington are also trialling Ashwoods’ Lightfoot in-cab driver behaviour system.

Lightfoot advises the driver on how to operate the van in the most fuel-efficient manner, by using real-time audio and visual aids in the cab.

The technology is proven on average to deliver fuel consumption improvements of 15%.

Based in Exeter, Ashwoods Automotive are the UK’s leading supplier of hybrid and low carbon light commercial vehicles and vehicle systems.

Image courtesy of eutrophication&hypoxia, with thanks.

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