Aberdeenshire Council has taken delivery of 20 new zero-emission electric vehicles.
Eighteen of the vehicles have been 100% funded by the Scottish Government’s ‘Switched on Fleets’ initiative through Energy Saving Trust and will replace older vehicles within the council’s fleet.
The seven Renault Zoe vans, six Vauxhall e-Vivaro and five Vauxhall Corsa-e will be issued to frontline council services ranging from Environmental Health, Property and Social Care.
Completing the line-up are two low-entry accessible Mellor e-Orion minibuses.
One has been match-funded by Transport Scotland and the other has been fully funded by Regional Transport Partnership, Nestrans, along with a contribution to the installation of charging points.
The Scottish Government intends to remove the need for petrol or diesel cars or the purchase of new light commercial vehicles in public fleets from 2025.
The Switched on Fleets initiative helps local authorities transition from traditional internal combustion engines to cleaner zero-emission vehicles.
That support has enabled Aberdeenshire Council to increase its zero-emission vehicle fleet to 40.
Cllr Peter Argyle, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “We remain absolutely committed to de-carbonising our fleet and grants like Switched on Fleets mean we can accelerate that change to cleaner vehicles.
“With further advancements in battery and hydrogen technology – and as more light and heavy commercial vehicles come to market – we will be able to introduce these fit-for-purpose vehicles to increasingly support our key frontline services.”
Vice-chair Cllr John Cox added: “It is important that we – as a forward-thinking council – continue to look to the future and take action now to provide clean transport alternatives. Switching to these alternative power types not only brings massive environmental benefits, it also brings training and development opportunities for the council’s vehicle maintenance teams, particularly our apprentices.”
Chair of Nestrans, Councillor Sandra Macdonald, said: “Nestrans is pleased to be able to support Aberdeenshire Council in expanding their zero-emission fleet, adding to the rapidly growing range of alternative-fuel vehicles in use across the North East.
“At 68%, emissions from road transport form a significant part of Scotland’s total transport emissions. Facilitating the adoption of ultra-low or zero-emission vehicles plays a critical role in the work towards decarbonising transport.”