First London Electric Vehicle Trial leads to Renault Kangoo sale

trial of electric vehicles by businesses in Camden

A trial of electric vehicles by businesses in Camden has already led to the purchase of an electric Renault Kangoo Van by the first trialling company.

Camden Council is offering local businesses and organisations the opportunity to trial electric vehicles (EVs) to assess the suitability for their work. The trials last for two weeks and are completely free. The aim is to encourage a shift to vehicles that have no tailpipe emissions, which contribute to improved air quality in Camden.

Lakehouse, a support services provider, carried out the first trial with an all-electric Renault Kangoo Z.E. Van. It has the same load carrying capability as the diesel Kangoo, however it has no tailpipe emissions, it is virtually silent, and it has no clutch and no gears – making it easy to drive around urban areas.

Lakehouse is an award-winning support services provider specialising in construction and maintenance in the social housing, education, health and public buildings sectors. Lakehouse is committed to conducting its business in a sustainable way, and so was keen to see if an electric van could meet its needs and replace any of its current fleet of twelve vans.

During the trial the electric Kangoo van was used for transporting staff and building materials between Lakehouse’s sites around London. There were no duties that the company’s vans carry out which the electric Kangoo couldn’t perform.

Peter Jones, Environmental Co-ordinator at Lakehouse, says that although staff were initially sceptical about driving an electric vehicle, that view had changed by the end of the trial. Sam Humbert, Electrical Supervisor, stated that “the van is silent and nippy and much better for driving through the traffic in London.’’

Lakehouse has decided to purchase a Renault Kangoo Z.E. van and is looking at replacing some of its other vehicles with electric models. Peter Jones recommends the EV trials, saying that they would definitely be worthwhile for other companies to try.

Benefits of electric vehicles include:

• Running costs are approximately one-fifth of diesel vehicles

• Exempt from London congestion charge and road tax

• Government Plug-in Car Grant incentive offers buyers 20% – up to £8000 – off the price of an electric van

• 100% first-year allowance for companies purchasing electric vans, enabling them to offset the cost against their corporation tax bill in year one

• No tailpipe emissions, so contribute to improved air quality

• Zero CO2 emissions in use if recharged from a 100% renewable energy tariff

• Quiet and easy to drive

• Less maintenance required

Renault Kangoo Z.E. Van specification:

Price: £16,990 excluding VAT (qualifies for the Government Plug-in Car Grant incentive which offers buyers 20% – up to £8000 – off the price of an electric vehicle)

Fuel: Electric

Recharging time: 6-8 hours for a full charge from a typical domestic installation

Driving range: 106 miles

Green rating: VED band A – £0

Company car tax liability (2011/12): 0%

Power: 60 hp (44 Kw)

Max speed: 81 mph

0-62 mph: 21.9 seconds

Weight: 1410 kg

Payload: 650 kg

Warranty: Four year/100,000 mile warranty

For more information about the trials contact airquality@camden.gov.uk , or call 020 7974 2260

Read more about the Camden Electric Vehicle Trials

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