Government to ‘lead by example’ on electric vehicles

12.00 | 22 July 2014 | | 4 comments

The Government has announced that it is to “lead by example” through a project to provide funding to introduce plug-in cars and vans across its car fleets.

The £5m ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV) readiness project is described as “the first step in plans to make electric cars and other plug-in vehicles commonplace in Government fleets”.

The funding will allow every central Government fleet to review its arrangements and consider how greener vehicles can be used. More than 150 plug-in vehicles will be added to Government fleets in the first wave of the scheme.

The Government Car Service, which provides cars for ministers, will lead the way with its review already underway and plans to order the first electric cars in the autumn.

The scheme was launched by Baroness Kramer, transport minster, Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the treasury, and Oliver Letwin, minister of state for cabinet office.

Danny Alexander said: “I am delighted the Government Car Service is leading the move to electric vehicles and I will be one of the first in line to use one.

“This is the right thing to do; with much lower running costs and close to zero emissions, these vehicles will save the taxpayer money and be much greener.

Baroness Kramer said: “Government must lead by example. Today’s investment will see Government switching a significant number of plug-in cars and vans into our fleets and leading the electric charge.”

The scheme will be expanded in the autumn to allow the wider public sector including councils, police forces and the NHS, to introduce more plug-in vehicles. This is expected to add approximately a further 135 plug-in vehicles to these fleets.

In both phases, charge points will also be installed to provide infrastructure support for the new cars and vans.



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    At a time of austerity would it not be a good idea for heads of the local authorities and officers of the council to take the initiative and scale down the usage of heavy gas guzzling modes of transport? I remember in the 1970s when things were just as bad – Mayors and other important officers of the council stepped down from using Mayoral cars that were large and expensive in many ways and took to being transported in more ordinary saloon cars at a considerable saving to the public purse. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was seen to happen today?

    bob craven Lancs
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    Perhaps getting government officials to experience the advantages and disadvantages of electric vehicles first-hand, is not a bad idea.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    One small step for mankind. Now will they address the Range Rovers and many motorcycle outriders that will be around these so called green vehicles? Just how far is it from number 10 and 11 Downing Street to the Houses of Parliament and could they cycle or walk it? By the way, Her Majesty the Queen does a lot of journeys in vehicles being drawn by horses.

    Peter London
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    No surprise here that this daft plan is backed by Lib-Dems, it’s the road version of their free school meals policy. The car-buying public has already set an example, by choosing not to buy these useless vehicles. How much public money will be spent on wages for employees sitting in these vehicles at a charging point to be able to complete their journeys? Not that they will often have to queue of course, as usage of these very expensive charging sockets currently runs at something like 0.0001%, in the few cases where is it not absolute zero.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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