Mitsubishi cars to be used in low-carbon trials

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Four councils in the north east of England have taken delivery of Mitsubishi i-MiEVs as part of low-carbon vehicle trials taking place in the region.

As part of the Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP) run by Cenex, the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for low-carbon and fuel-cell technologies, two cars will become part of the fleet at Gateshead Council, two at Newcastle City Council, one at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and one at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.

The delivery of these electric vehicles to the North East follows the first part of the Cenex ‘Smart Move’ trial, which involved all four of the local authorities now using the i-MiEV and gave hundreds of drivers the chance to drive an electric car through placements in vehicle fleets and at public test-drive events.

One of the key findings of a report into the trial found that vehicle fleets like those at local authorities could provide a successful early market for electric vehicles.

i-MiEVs have a range of 80 miles and a top speed of 81mph

Councillor Jennie Beaumont, Stockton Borough Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: ‘We already use some electric vehicles to collect rubbish from public bins but this is the first time we have our own electric car for general use.

‘We’ve got £26,000 of funding from Cenex, which reduces the cost to the Council to £387 a month for a four-year lease period. This will eventually pay for itself by the savings made in paying petrol claims for staff when travelling around the borough.

‘In return for the sponsorship, we’ll be providing information about the car’s performance to Cenex for research purposes to help the car industry with future electric-car development. Just about every car manufacturer is investing in electric cars, so our experiences will help shape the future of car travel in the country.’