Ross Care

Ross Care take part in Councils Electric Vehicle Clean Air Scheme

Ross Care take part in Councils Electric Vehicle Clean Air Scheme

Sheffield Council, supported by Highways England, piloted a scheme to support local businesses to plan how Electric Vehicles can be integrated into their fleets. The goal is to support action to reduce air pollution from diesel vehicles in and around Sheffield. Light commercial vehicles such as vans account for only 13% of vehicles on the road, but contribute to over a quarter of emissions in Sheffield.

Ross Care has committed to a range of practices to minimise its’ carbon footprint, so was keen to take part in the initiative and discover how it might inform practices going forward. This took the form of a two month trial of a Nissan Acenta. This short term loan would provide Ross with the opportunity to explore a range of topics including the benefits of Electric, experiencing the use of EV Charger networks, gaining a better understanding of the range of Electric Vans and how this fits in with its business.

The vehicle was predominantly used, by Senior Engineer Neil Baker. “We were very impressed by the vehicle and leant a lot from the experience. The range is great for local runs around the city and the driving experience, even on the hilly streets of Sheffield, has been excellent. It was also kitted out with all the ‘mod cons’, with heated seats being particularly welcome during the winter! The use of the heater did however have a notable effect on the range. Having experimented with several options, we found a great place for its use in our operations. For wheelchair deliveries where capacity is important, the limitations were more apparent. However, it was ideal for our repairer service as we visit maintain Service Users wheelchairs around the city at their homes. This has been great as it reduces the emissions around city where the highest level of concern is, whilst also reducing our running costs for this type work.'

Justine Long, Group Fleet Manager met with the local team to investigate the findings of the trial. ‘We have strong aspirations to ensure maximum efficiency and lower emissions for our fleet with the utilisation of an EV van fleet. Our trials indicate that there are pockets where a medium-sized LCV EV’s will work for the business which, will be the focus for our growing EV fleet. For large panel vans, whilst there are some good solutions to make the switch to electric, the charging infrastructure availability and the total cost of ownership is not competitive enough right now for mass adoption. However, we continue to be proactive in seeking out innovations such as this to minimise our environmental impact.’

The Sheffield Team are subsequently conducting a trial of a company owned electric Peugeot Expert, which offers additional capacity.

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