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Royal Devon and Exeter become first NHS Trust to use hybrid van

By Kyle Linsay
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 11:07

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Ambulance

FIRST: Hybrid Transit 25% more efficient

Royal Devon and Exeter are the first NHS Foundation Trust to deploy a new cost and carbon-cutting hybrid van.

The 3.5t Hybrid Transit, purchased from Exeter-based Ashwoods Automotive, is up to 25% more efficient than the standard diesel van and used for hospital courier transport.

Its fuel-efficiency means it delivers a return on investment after the first 20,000 miles.

The Trust purchased the vehicle for the same price as a standard Ford Transit, thanks to a Department for Transport subsidy.

David Searle, Fleet Manager for the Royal Devon & Exeter, said: “We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our fleet where possible, in support of the NHS’ Carbon Reduction Strategy.

“We are proud to be the first NHS Trust to deploy this innovative hybrid van, which not only cuts carbon but also saves us money on fuel.

“With Ashwoods also based in Exeter we know we will receive excellent after-sales service and at the same time we are able to support a local company.”

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, transferring it to the wheels via an electric motor.

Unlike other hybrids or electric vehicles, it never needs plugging into a charging point, so operators do not have to worry about the battery going flat.

The Trust’s van is also fitted with Ashwoods’ Lightfoot driver behaviour system, which advises the driver on how to operate the van in the most fuel-efficient manner.

Lightfoot – which uses real-time audio and visual aids in the cab – is proven to deliver an average 15% improvement in fuel consumption.

The Trust purchased the vans through Phase Two of the Department for Transport’s Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP).

This initiative aims to help public sector bodies in England and Wales procure and assess 500 Ashwoods Hybrid light commercial vehicles.

The Department for Transport provided a subsidy of £3,430 per vehicle.

Image courtesy of I.bailey_beverley, with thanks.

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