A total of 131 vehicles spent time under appraisal, proving they could carry out the day-to-day functions of a petrol or diesel powered vehicle without any handicap to the operator. Thirty-eight fleets eventually went through the formal application procedures, requesting funding for over 400 gas and electrically powered vehicles.
The second phase of Powershift will pay out up to £20 million (out of a three year £60 million budget), meeting fleets halfway by providing 50% of the additional cost of converting a vehicle to run on 'greener' fuels, a subsidy which is clearly encouraging a number of organisations at least to experiment with gas or electricity.
Jonathan Murray, manager of the Powershift programme, said: 'Our second phase is focused on sending alternatively fuelled vehicles to depot based fleets, so we can start to create a refuelling infrastructure, and encourage motor manufacturers to join in. The potential £20 million worth of orders from Powershift's funding partnerships represents the biggest single step yet on the road towards a sustainable market for alternatively fuelled vehicles.'
Of the applications 49% came from local authorities, a further 11% from refuse collection companies, and bus and coach operators represented a further 14%.