Kent businesses can now trial an electric van for up to two months to see how the switch to electric could benefit their business and Kent’s environment.
The scheme aims to demonstrate that a switch to electric makes good business sense as well as reducing air pollution on Kent’s roads. Cleaner air benefits all Kent’s residents and brings us closer to our goal of Net Zero emissions.
A mix of small and medium electric vans will be available, the first of these are the Renault Kangoo Panel and Crew and the Nissan eNV200. In future they will be joined by a VW e-Transporter 6-seater, Renault Zoe vans and several medium sized vans so that a wider range of businesses can take part in the trial.
Waller Building and Glazing based in Sittingbourne and Eco Electrical Contractors (South East) Ltd based in Stanford, near Ashford were the first to receive keys to an electric van on 1st February, both businesses currently operate a fleet of diesel vans.
The Kent REVS Up for Cleaner Air scheme is jointly funded by Kent County Council and Highways England, who provided £1.5 million in funding to buy 50 electric vans and 12 electric vehicle charging points for the two-year scheme.
There has already been strong interest from Kent businesses and charities, and more of the vans will be appearing on Kent’s roads over the next few weeks.
KCC Cabinet Member for Environment Susan Carey said: “There’s zero risk for Kent businesses to try a zero emissions electric vehicle and help us reach our Net Zero goal for Kent.
“Each business taking part, will receive a free report, showing how much money and emissions they could save by switching to electric vehicles.
“We can all play a role in helping the environment, improving air quality and reducing traffic noise by switching to electric. Once businesses have tried the electric vehicles we expect many if not all to make a permanent switch.
“This is one of the many ways we aim to achieve net-zero emissions across the county by 2050.”
Businesses taking part in the scheme will also benefit from a free fleet review and, if eligible, access to other free support and grants through Low Carbon Kent initiatives.
This scheme complements KCC work to increase the number of electric vehicle (EV) charging points for use by business and the public across the county, with funding secured from the Department of Transport.
Current projects include charging points for use by taxi operators, the first being connected in Margate in December 2020. This year more charge points are planned to be installed at Parish Halls and in District Council owned car parks.
Christopher Plumb, Air Quality Specialist at Highways England, said: “Everyone should be able to enjoy clean air, and electric vehicles can really help improve air quality on our roads.
“Over recent years we’ve made sure that over 95% of England’s motorways and major A-roads is within 20 miles of a rapid electric vehicle charging point. And over the next five years, we’ll be investing £411 million to do more to protect and improve the environment around our roads.
“Today we’re excited to be supporting Kent County Council as it encourages more businesses to make the switch to electric.
“And we expect many more to start using electric vehicles when they see the savings possible.”
To register interest in the scheme, email REVS@csltd.org.uk