Only four electric vehicles - the Peugeot 106 car and van and Partner, and the Citroen Berlingo - currently qualify for Powershift grants, and the £300,000 investment should provide sufficient funds for 60 vehicles.
Nottingham City Council, a partner of the scheme along with Nottinghamshire County Council, plans to add electric vehicles to its own fleet. Brian Growcock, chairman of the city council's environment committee, said: 'We are looking at clean air zones for clean fuel vehicles and these electric cars and vans will be very useful for that.'
Peugeot has already sold about 150 electric vehicles in the UK, with 90% of them going to local authorities, although organisations such as the Royal Mail, Seeboard and Northern Energy have also bought them. The Powershift grant is worth almost £5,000 towards the cost of the 106 electric car, subsidising its monthly contract hire rental to £254 (plus VAT) over a five-year contract. Fleets also recoup some of their investment in fuel charges, with each mile costing about 1p in electricity, compared to about 7p for diesel.