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Plans for electric vehicles announced at University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham is to add nine new electric vehicles as part of their sustainability strategy and in an effort to reduce carbon impact.

Nine Renault Kangoos are to be used across University campuses alongside Nottingham city’s commitment to electric vehicles.

The new vans will account for approximately 15 per cent of the vehicles used by the University’s Estates and Catering teams on a daily basis, and will have many benefits over vehicles which run on fossil fuels.

Benefits include zero CO2 emissions resulting in cleaner air and thereby cutting the University’s carbon footprint, a greater cost effectiveness estimated at around 3p per mile, and a reduction in noise pollution.

“These electric vehicles are ideal for our needs at the University”

The vehicles can travel up to 80 miles before they need recharging. The University’s Estates Office is working closely with University academics to monitor the performance of the vans.

Colin Harley, Maintenance Operations Manager, Building Services and driver of one of the new vehicles said: “These electric vehicles are ideal for our needs at the University. They have power in abundance, are even easier to drive than a petrol or diesel automatic, and with the normal distances we drive around campus they only require charging once a week.”

Charging stations have been installed that will be free to use with a valid parking permit or Pay and Display ticket to support a wider use of electric vehicles. Charging points are located at the rear of the Mathematics Building on University Park and at Innovation Park, Jubilee Campus.

Further charging stations are planned to open at King’s Meadow and Sutton Bonington Campuses over summer 2015. Furthermore, staff who drive zero emissions cars and electric vehicles will enjoy the lowest parking permit costs.

“We are also making the charge in the hope we will see more staff choose cleaner and more efficient cars to make their journey to work”

Andy Nolan, Director of Sustainability, stated: “The University is committed to reducing its environmental impact both locally and globally. The electric vehicles offer significant improvements to local air quality and reduce noise levels too as well as having some carbon reduction benefits. We are also making the charge in the hope we will see more staff choose cleaner and more efficient cars to make their journey to work.”

Nottingham City Council currently employs more than 50 electric buses, the largest amount in Europe, and was announced as a winner of over £30,000 funding on July 23 from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. This fund will be used to undertake a feasibility study for electric taxis in Nottingham.

In 2013 the Faculty of Engineering invested in hydrogen-fuelled van with a refuelling station at Jubilee Campus as part of a green initiative and an opportunity study the cost of hydrogen fuel.

Both University Park campus and Jubilee Campuses recently secured Green Flag awards for the 13th and third years in a row and Greenmetric named the University number one in the world for sustainability in January 2015.

Hannah Eves

Image: University of Nottingham

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