First hybrid vans for Ashfield district council

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A Nottinghamshire council is cutting carbon emissions and saving fuel after adding five new Ashwoods Hybrid Transits to its fleet.

Ashfield District Council deploys the vehicles to support a range of tasks across the district within the Environmental Services Team.

Thanks to a Department for Transport subsidy, the council was able to purchase the five vehicles for the equivalent cost of standard diesel vans.

The light commercial vehicles area mixture of medium and long wheelbase Ford Transit chassis cabs with dual rear wheels and fitted with tipper bodies.

David White, transport services manager for Ashfield District Council, said: “A lot of green vehicles do cut carbon but come at a premium price, require extra driver training and usually the installation of refuelling or recharging infrastructure.

“The Ashwoods Hybrid Transit vehicle doesn’t have any of these drawbacks. It is cost-effective to purchase and will actually lower our fleet fuel spend and reduce CO2 output.”

The 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.

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.

All of Ashfield’s hybrid vehicles are also fitted with Ashwoods’ innovative Lightfoot driver behaviour system.

Lightfoot advises the driver on how to operate the van in the most fuel-efficient manner by using real-time audio and visual aids in the cab.

Ashfield purchased the vans through Phase Two of the Department for Transport’s Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP.) This initiative aimed to help public sector bodies in England and Wales to procure and assess 500 Ashwoods Hybrid LCVs. The DfT provided a subsidy of £3,430 per vehicle.

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