Gateshead Council has purchased ten Smith Edison all-electric vans for assessment in operations across its commercial vehicle fleet.
Produced by Smith Electric Vehicles in nearby Washington, Tyne & Wear, the Edison has a range of up to 100 miles on a single charge.
Gateshead Council transport manager Alasdair Tose said: "Our fleet of electric vehicles is the largest local authority fleet in the region, delivering key services to Gateshead residents whilst reducing carbon emissions and saving money at the same time."
It has purchased the vans through a new national government initiative, the Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP). Under the programme, the Department for Transport pays the difference between the purchase price of a standard diesel panel van and the new technology electric vehicle. This allows local authorities like Gateshead to purchase small fleets of electric and hybrid vans, to fully assess and understand the technology.
Smith Electric Vehicles is supplying two-thirds of the electric vans into LCVPP Phase One and Gateshead Council is among the biggest investors in its EV technology.