Businesses in Brixton, including street and market traders based locally, will be able to tap into a free electric van sharing service.
Cross River Partnership’s Clean Air Villages programme aims to encourage small businesses reduce the number of vans on the roads, helping to tackle the area’s high congestion and pollution levels, and to compliant with the current and expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
The electric shared van scheme is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, and is the result of a joint collaboration between Lambeth Council, Brixton BID, Zipcar for Business and Cross River Partnership’s Clean Air Villages Programme.
The project is funded by Lambeth Council and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
The EV van will be located near Brixton’s Electric Avenue, a nod to both the street’s many market traders and its electric heritage, having been the first market street in London to be lit by electric lights back in the 1880s.
DEFRA is funding the overall scheme through Cross River Partnership’s Clean Air Villages Programme, Lambeth Council is funding the van itself, which is provided and run through Zipcar for Business, and Brixton BID playing a key role in bringing Brixton businesses on board.
Cllr Claire Holland, deputy leader of Lambeth Council and cabinet lead for the Environment and Clean Air, said: “I’m proud that right here in the heart of Brixton we have got London’s first electric van solely for the use of local businesses.
“We are determined to help Lambeth’s local businesses transition to low-carbon ways of working and electric vehicles and cargo bikes are the way forward.
“We all need to play our own role in tackling the climate crisis and by choosing to use electric vehicles, small businesses in Lambeth are leading from the front.”
Zipcar UK general manager James Taylor added: “We believe that the future is electric - that’s why at Zipcar we have a vision to be fully electric in the UK by 2025.
“However, we cannot hope to achieve this ambition alone, and it’s only by coming together with other businesses and organisations that we can proactively tackle London’s pollution crisis and help make it the greener and cleaner city we all want and need it to be.”
Courtesan Restaurant in Brixton will be among the first Brixton businesses to benefit from this new shared electric van scheme. Director Hammant Patel Villa said: “We believe it will allow us to significantly reduce our emissions, which is an important consideration for any London based business today.
“We're prepared to implement a slightly more rigorous schedule when it comes to our deliveries and collections with the shared van, in return for benefits around the reduced hassle and cost of owning a van, plus the knowledge that we are working together with our local business community to make Brixton a cleaner place to live, work and play."
For more information and details of how to sign up, visit https://www.zipcar.com/en-gb/business/electricbrixton.