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Swansea deploys largest hybrid van fleet in Wales

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Swansea Council is investing in greener light commercial vehicles and creating the largest fleet of hybrid vans in Wales.

The Council is rolling out 35 Ashwood Hybrid Transit vehicles across the city, to be used by services including corporate building, parks, library services and refuse collection.

The authority estimates that, over their working life, the Ashwoods vehicles will save it approximately £75,000 in fuel costs and reduce its carbon emissions by around 220 tonnes.

Cllr June Burtonshaw, Cabinet Member for Place in Swansea Council, said: "The Council has a large number of vehicles operating in the city on a daily basis.

"It's really important that we do what we can to not only reduce fuel costs but also to lessen their impact on our local environment.

“The introduction of this new fleet of vehicles will give us the opportunity to save money and improve our green credentials."

Cllr Sybil Crouch, Cabinet Member for Sustainability, added: "Councils need to look at more innovative and cost effective ways of providing services.

“The introduction of this new fleet of vehicles is a really positive step forward to a more sustainable Swansea."

The award-winning Ashwoods Hybrid drive technology reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions 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.

Ashwoods says that 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.

Ashwoods has trained technicians at local Ford dealer CEM Days, which up-fitted its Hybrid Drive technology to standard Ford Transit panel vans and chassis cabs.

Mark Roberts, managing director of Ashwoods Automotive, said: “Swansea is leading the way in the adoption of low carbon commercial vehicles in Wales.

“With 35 Ashwoods Hybrid Transits in its fleet, Swansea will significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce its fuel consumption.”

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.

When coupled with the fuel savings the LCVs provide, this means the vehicles will actually reduce Swansea’s fleet costs.

Ashwoods had already supplied more than 130 hybrid LCVs in 2010 and 2011, to a wide range of organisations in England, including the Environment Agency and Coventry Council.

Swansea sought references from Coventry, which reported very good levels of performance from the Ashwoods vehicles in terms of reliability, fuel and emissions savings.

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  • GlennEwen - 10/08/2012 12:25

    How viable is this without the grant? Our taxes have paid for a reduction in Swansea's fleet costs. Excellent!

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