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Hybrid vans get to work in the Cotswolds

Cotswold District Council is the latest to switch to hybrid power, thanks to an investment in six new Ashwoods Hybrid Transit vans.

The vehicles will be used by Ubico Ltd, which provides environmental services to the council.

Ashwoods ubico van

Thanks to a Department for Transport subsidy, the council was able to purchase the six vehicles for the equivalent cost of standard diesel vans. However, the hybrids are up to 25 per cent more fuel-efficient than the vehicles they replace, reducing running costs. Travelling a cumulative 100,000 miles a year, Ubico estimates the vehicles will generate annual savings of up to £5,900 and 10.8 tonnes of CO2.

Malcolm Carruthers, Fleet Services Manager at Ubico, said: “These hybrid vans will reduce our fleet spend on diesel substantially while also cutting carbon emissions.

“Ubico is committed to providing the most efficient possible service to residents and businesses. Cotswold District Council looked at several options for low carbon vehicles, but we agreed that Ashwoods was by far the most effective and most straightforward. We can deploy the vehicles without any additional driver or service engineer training - and we don’t need to invest in charging points or new fuel tanks.”

Ubico was established in 2012 to provide environmental services across the adjoining authorities of Cheltenham Borough Council and Cotswold District Council, including waste collection, recycling and street cleaning.

The subsidies, which enabled the council to purchase the hybrid vans, are only available to the end of the month. Worth £3,400 per vehicle, the government’s Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVP) subsidies are available to any public sector fleet wishing to purchase Ashwood’s hybrid vans until March 31, 2013.

Ashwood’s hybrid drive technology reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 15 to 25 per cent. It’s a self-powered system that uses regenerative braking to store energy and transfer it back to the wheels when needed.

The Exeter-based firm bases its vans on the Ford Transit and offers them in a number of body types; panel van, chassis cab, dropsides and tippers, double cab and box vans.

Further details of the subsidies can be found at: www.ashwoodshybrid.co.uk.

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Faye Sunderland

Filed under: Hybrid cars

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