A 30-day ‘try before you buy’ electric vehicle loan scheme in Nottingham has been hailed as having the potential to act as a blueprint for other UK cities considering introducing clean air zone.
In the past 18 months, 52 organisations have taken 72 loans through the initiative, which has been piloted by the Nottingham ULEV Experience project and financed through Nottingham City Council’s Go Ultra Low funding.
The trials, delivered by leasing company DriveElectric, over the past two years have offered vehicles such as the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro. Twenty EVs have been adopted as a result of the scheme so far.
Mike Potter, managing director of DriveElectric, said: “Most organisations need to experience electric vehicles before making a decision to purchase.
“Fully-funded month-long EV loans are not readily available through dealerships, manufacturers or any other source.
“Therefore, the ‘try before you buy’ EV loans provided by the ULEV Experience have been extremely valuable in filling a gap in the market not offered elsewhere.”
DriveElectric has managed the EV trials for the Nottingham ULEV Experience including providing the vehicles, booking the 30-day loans, providing a handover about the vehicles and charging, being available throughout the trial to answer any queries, and even arranging insurance if required.
The ULEV Experience has been a programme dedicated to supporting Nottingham businesses to understand, trial and implement ultra-low emission vehicles.
The programme has been delivered by a consortium led by Cenex, with partners from DriveElectric, the Energy Saving Trust, RideWise, CleanTech Business and Automotive Comms.
In January, Leeds City Council and Highways England launched a scheme giving businesses, organisation and charities in West Yorkshire the opportunity to trial electric vans for up to two months as part of the EV Trials Scheme.
Councillor James Lewis, executive member for resources at Leeds City Council, said: “We know that changing to electric vehicles would be a leap in the dark for some so this trial is to support businesses to understand the charging regime without having to make an upfront financial commitment.
"We'd encourage businesses and organisations from across the region to consider taking up a free trial. EVs could help them save on running costs while reducing levels of pollution in Leeds."