Leeds City Council (LCC) is seeking to become carbon-neutral by 2030, whereby to help it achieve its goal LCC has chosen to use Renault’s all-electric Kangoo Z.E.33 van to deliver a wide range of services across the city.
A total of 122 new vehicles will be in operation across West Yorkshire, where 102 EVs will be used for property maintenance and civil enforcement, while the remainder 20 will be made available to local businesses through the council’s new EV Trials Scheme.
Via the scheme in which LCC launched in partnership with Highways England, qualifying businesses and organisations are able to enjoy a completely free trial of electric vans for up to two months. Each van will be equipped with telematics devices, which gather journey and charging data, with users receiving a tailored report highlighting the findings and the environmental and potential financial benefits that transitioning to an EV can bring to their business.
As well as their environmental compatibility, Leeds City Council opted for the Renault Kangoo Z.E.33 due to its 143-mile range and comparatively affordable price (starting from £19,380 excluding VAT, after the Plug-in Van Grant). The all-electric vans replace several older, less efficient vehicles, with others being added due to the growth and scope of Leeds City Council services.
As such, Renault’s vehicles will take the tally of all-electric vehicles used by the council to over 330. The biggest driver for the council has been the need to improve air quality throughout the region, and further, to help reduce noise pollution.
Councillor James Lewis, Deputy Leader at Leeds City Council, said: “Leeds City Council already operate more electric vehicles than any other local authority and we are a proud signatory of the Clean Van Commitment.”
“Not only are zero-emission vans better for the environment and air that our communities breathe, but they are also cheaper to run and maintain than traditional vehicles. We know that switching to electric vehicles feels like it would be a leap in the dark for some, so we’re looking forward to sharing the benefits of these vans free of charge with businesses and charities across West Yorkshire as part of our EV Trials scheme.”
As for the vehicle itself, it’ll come as part of the ‘Business’ trim level, which includes pre-heating, cruise control and speed limiter, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Start Assist, Bluetooth, USB socket and DAB radio. Flexible charging options include the ability to recharge 20 miles of driving range in one hour.
LCC will charge its new vehicles via its existing charge points and is also in the process of procuring a new charging infrastructure.
Vincent Tourette, Managing Director, Groupe Renault UK, commented: “We are delighted that the Renault Kangoo Z.E.33 has such a significant role in not only transforming the efficiency of Leeds City Council’s fleet, but that its deployment in the authority’s new EV Trials Scheme will also help many of the city’s businesses experience how electric vehicles can, literally, work for them.”
“We are confident these organisations will be able to see in real-world terms how one of the all-electric Renault Kangoo Z.E.33 can be much more affordable to run, greener for the environment, and offer a better driving experience than other LCVs in the market.”