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Council adds fully insured vehicles to Electric Van trial

Electric van in Sheffield

Almost two years on from the successful launch of the first electric van trial in Sheffield, the Council is going a step further to support local businesses, charities, and organisations by introducing fully insured vehicles as part of the popular electric van trial.

Since launching in June 2021 with 30 vans, the electric van trial has gone from strength to strength, with over 189 businesses taking up the opportunity to trial a van for up to 2 months at no charge. During this time, approximately 190,638 electric KMs have been driven, saving approximately 30 tonnes of CO2, if driven in a petrol van, and 65 tonnes, if driven in a diesel van, being released into the air.

The Council is now going even further by offering up 15 fully insured electric vans for the trials - which businesses can access with a one-off admin fee of £200, to give even more people an opportunity to take part in the trial.

In most cases, the one-off admin fee will be a more cost-effective and less time-consuming alternative to individuals sourcing van insurance independently. To take advantage of this offer, all drivers need to be aged 25 or over, full terms and conditions can be checked during the application process.

The Council is working with Churchill Expert, Direct Line Group’s flexible fleet insurance specialist, to provide fully comprehensive insurance for the trials.

Cllr Mazher Iqbal, Co-Chair of Transport, Regeneration & Climate Committee, said:

“The electric van trial in Sheffield is a brilliant initiative and we want all local businesses, charities and organisations that use vans to have an opportunity to take advantage of this trial.

“That's why we have taken 15 vans and fully insured them, opening up the opportunity to those who have previously been unable to get involved. Light good vehicles, such as vans are only 13% of the vehicles on the roads but contribute to over a quarter of the harmful emissions in Sheffield.

“I hope this will encourage people to come and give the electric vans a go. Ultimately, we want to give people the confidence to invest in cleaner, electric vehicles moving forward - with the Clean Air Zone now live in Sheffield, now is the perfect time.”

Nicola Richmond, Head of Churchill Expert Flexible Fleet Partnerships, said:

“Transitioning to an electric van can seem daunting, so we are delighted to support this unique initiative which allows businesses to experience what it would genuinely be like to drive one for an extended period. Electric vans are becoming increasingly popular and the range and choice of vans coming to market is rapidly increasing. With the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles fast approaching, this initiative is a great way to support businesses by helping to give them the confidence to switch from traditionally fuelled vehicles to electric ones.

“We are excited to be arranging fleet insurance for Sheffield County Council and look forward to growing this partnership in the future.”

A Land worker at the High Riggs Biodynamic Market Garden, said:

“The van was a pleasure to drive and easy to charge on site. It was a perfect fit for the purpose of delivering veg around the city, and it is a great feeling to be using an electric vehicle that is not creating fumes.”

Bethan Davies, Senior Fundraiser at the Ruskin Mill Trust, said:

“I have found Sheffield City Council helpful to work with for the duration of this scheme. The application was simple and straightforward, and once successful, we were given clear and helpful information throughout the process from start to finish of the trial. I would definitely recommend taking part in the trial to any other organisation.”

The trial has been funded between Sheffield City Council and National Highways (formerly known as Highways England) with the aim to reduce harmful air pollution from diesel vehicles on the road network in and around Sheffield.

The trial will allow local businesses to make an informed choice about overall cost and how suitable the van is for their business before making the investment in switching to electric.

Research commissioned by Sheffield City Council showed that 52% of local LGV (Light Goods Vehicles) drivers are favourable towards electric vehicles, but the biggest barriers they face are the high up-front cost and concerns about how far they can drive before needing to recharge.

Those interested in applying to take part in the electric van trial can fill out the online application: