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The Conservation Volunteers starts its electric journey with Fleet Alliance

Monday, February 28, 2022 - 06:30
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Conservation charity, The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), is driving to a greener future with an all-electric fleet under the guidance of leasing and fleet management specialist, Fleet Alliance.

The Doncaster-based, multi award-winning charity, which was founded in 1959 and whose vice president is Sir David Attenborough, operates teams of employees and volunteers from 10 offices around the UK. It runs community conservation projects designed to “connect people to the green spaces that form a vital part of any healthy, happy community”.

Sir David Attenborough and volunteers

Sir David Attenborough and volunteers

The charity currently has about 50 conservation projects in place across the UK, including local parks and community gardens, nature reserves, sites of special scientific interest, schools, hospital grounds, waterways, wetlands and woodlands around the country.

To meet its commitments, including moving volunteers and materials to conservation projects, TCV operates a fleet of around 75 light commercial vehicles, with a mixture of short, medium and long wheelbase vans and number of minibuses, all diesel-powered.

However, due to the nature of its conservation activities and the fact that many of its vehicles are operating in Clean Air Zones and facing penalties for not being ultra-low emission, the charity decided to explore the options around switching to electric vehicles (EVs).

Having secured funding from its partners, which include local authorities, trusts and charitable foundations, TCV went out to the market and selected Fleet Alliance from a shortlist of five different potential suppliers for help and guidance in competitively sourcing the most appropriate models.

Using its extensive fleet and leasing experience and EV expertise, Fleet Alliance recommended an initial batch of four zero emission Citroen Dispatch e-DISPATCH M 1000 100kW 75kWh Crew Van Enterprise Pro Auto models.

The leasing and fleet management specialist used its competitive tendering solution, which employs a panel of up to nine funders, to determine the most cost-effective leasing rentals and to source the vehicles.

These are being delivered to four sites around the country – Stirling, Glasgow, Leeds and London – so that local teams can test the practicalities of running EVs. If the initial batch of four EVs proves successful, then TCV will switch more of its vans to electric power as they come up for replacement.

TCV Finance Manager, Katherine Hutt, said: “Fleet Alliance has been really helpful in sourcing this initial batch of four electric vans and providing positive financial arrangements that have been really beneficial to our cashflow – which, due to its multi-source nature, can be rather complex.

“More than that, they have also provided valuable advice and assistance in all aspects of running EVs, including battery range and installing the most appropriate chargers at our various sites from where they will be operated.

“If this trial proves successful, then we will look closely at replacing more of our vehicles to electric power, “she said.

Fleet Alliance CEO, Andy Bruce, commented: “Like many of our customers, TCV has begun its journey to, ultimately, an all-electric fleet which is very much in accord with its own mission of helping conserve the environment for future generations.

“We will provide the necessary advice and support to ensure that the transition to electrification meets their ambitions and plays a key role in helping them achieve their conservation and net zero carbon aspirations.”

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