Electric vans bring green travel to the Shire
Published by Gareth Holmes for Sanctuary Housing Association in Environment and also in Housing
Eco-friendly electric vans are taking to the roads of Sheffield’s Shiregreen Estate in a bid to drive down transportation emissions by Sanctuary Maintenance.
The noiseless vehicles, with a range of 80 miles on a full charge, have been introduced as part of a pilot to reduce the estate’s carbon footprint and cut down on energy consumption.
Sanctuary Maintenance, part of Sanctuary Group, introduced the electric vehicles to coincide with the creation of a new gas servicing team in Shiregreen and the vans will be used by their gas engineers on the estate.
Shiregreen was selected for the pilot because of the close proximity of Sanctuary’s 2,500 properties on the estate, making it an ideal location for electric cars.
With an estimated annual mileage of around 8,700 per vehicle, it is expected that nearly four tonnes of carbon emissions will be prevented from being released into the atmosphere every year through their use.
The zero carbon emission vans have been introduced at a time of growing pressure on businesses to make their operations as green as possible by using energy-efficient technology, such as electric-powered transport.
Dennis Evans, Managing Director of Sanctuary Maintenance, said: “At Sanctuary we believe strongly in reinvesting in our services. We not only want to be the best in our field, we also want to run our businesses in a sustainable way.
“Environment-friendly transportation is the future and as a business we are committed to embracing green technology to minimise our carbon footprint. They are also very economical to run.
“This pilot will be monitored and if successful we will invest further in the technology and roll it out across other parts of our national operations.”
An electric “station” has been created on the estate to charge up the vans, which take 45 minutes to reach full power at a cost of about £2.64 each and have a top speed of 80mph. It is estimated each vehicle will reduce carbon emissions by 1.8 tonnes a year.
Though currently a niche market, the use of electric vehicles is expanding as the technology improves. The manufacturer estimates they will account for 20 per cent of the market in the near future.
With no engine sound, the only noise made by the vehicles is that of tyres rolling on the road and the wind outside.
The vans have lower servicing costs because there is no oil or filter change and do not need taxing. The performance of the vans will be monitored for their effectiveness and if successful, Sanctuary Maintenance will expand the fleet to other locations.