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DfT grant helps Conwy Council buy eight Ashwoods Hybrid Transit vans

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Conwy County Borough Council has invested in eight Ashwoods Hybrid Transit light commercial vehicles (LCVs), with the help of funding secured via the Department for Transport (DfT) Grant Funding programme. It expects the new vans will save money on fuel and reduce CO2 emissions.

The move follows Swansea Council’s procurement of 27 Ashwoods Hybrid LCVs and is part of a DfT initiative to help the public sector in England and Wales invest in fuel-saving vans.

Peter Barton-Price, Conwy fleet manager said: “We’re delighted to be looking at these vehicles as part of our fleet replacement programme; using improved technology and benefiting from the purchase incentives available.

“We want to make sure we provide the best possible, safe, economical and user-friendly fleet for the Authority.”

Conwy’s hybrid fleet comprises two panel vans and six chassis cabs, procured for its Environment and Technical Services division. They will be deployed in the authority’s Street Scene operation; four for its Parks section and four for the Street Cleansing section. 

Conwy estimates the vehicles will deliver a CO2 reduction of up to 33% and fuel saving of 20%. With an average of 25,000 miles per year (68 miles per day) on a mixed drive cycle, this would result in an annual saving of £1,265 per vehicle, based on current fuel prices.

Cllr Dave Cowans, Cabinet Member for Environment, Conwy County Borough Council said: “The Council was looking at introducing this technology into the fleet as part of our commitment to reducing carbon emissions. 

“When we were informed that funding would be available to local authorities through the Department for Transport Grant Funding programme, it seemed to be the ideal opportunity to take the plunge.”

Ashwoods claims its Hybrid drive technology reduces fuel consumption on a standard Ford Transit by 15-25%. The system is entirely self-powered; it stores energy every time the vehicle slows down then transfers it to the wheels via an electric motor.

Unlike other hybrids or electric vehicles, it never needs plugging into a charging point - and operators don’t have to worry about the battery going flat.

Conwy and Swansea purchased the vehicles through the Department for Transport’s Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP). This initiative aims to help public sector bodies in England and Wales to procure and assess 500 Ashwoods Hybrid LCVs.

The DfT provides a grant of £3,430 per vehicle, covering the entire extra cost of the Ashwoods system.

Grants are still available under the LCVPP scheme – but all orders must be placed before March 31, 2013.


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