Wakefield Council set to replace diesel cars and vans with electric vehicles in £8.8m project

Wakefield Council looks set to replace its fleet of petrol and diesel cars and vans with electric vehicles as part of the drive to tackle climate change.
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Senior councillors are expected to approve a scheme to introduce zero-emission, battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Council staff drive over 500 vehicles and operate more than 600 other pieces of equipment, such as tractors and ride-on mowers, that are responsible for around 12 per cent of the Council’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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Under the proposal, zero or low emission alternatives will replace existing vehicles that reach the end of their service over the next four years.

Wakefield Council Deputy Leader, Jack Hemingway, in an electric refuse truck, which is currently being trialled by the authority.Wakefield Council Deputy Leader, Jack Hemingway, in an electric refuse truck, which is currently being trialled by the authority.
Wakefield Council Deputy Leader, Jack Hemingway, in an electric refuse truck, which is currently being trialled by the authority.

Wakefield Council Cabinet members are being asked to agree to spending £4.9m to introduce zero emission BEVs.

A further £1 million would be spent on electric charging infrastructure to keep the vehicles on the road, plus a further injection of £2.9m into the Council’s capital programme.

Funding for the green initiative would come from the Climate Change budget.

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In 2019, the Council declared a Climate Emergency with a stated aim of becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2030.

The Council’s bin wagons and gritters continue to use diesel due to “uncertainties with technology and performance” of larger vehicles.

Councillor Jack Hemingway, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: “We are delighted to be taking this step towards a cleaner, greener district.

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“Electric cars are a tried and tested technology that will allow our staff to continue offering the best service to residents.

“They bring with them the incredible benefits of protecting people’s health by reducing the number of harmful pollutants that are spread in the air from petrol and diesel engines and achieving our important goal of being carbon neutral.

“Whilst we are delighted our small and medium vehicle fleet is going fully green, we are still working on finding the best clean energy solution for our larger fleet, such as bin wagons and gritters, which can perform to the required service standard and deliver value for money for the taxpayer.”

Cabinet members will meet will on Tuesday November 8.