New scheme gives free trials of electric vans to businesses in West Yorkshire

Leeds City Council and Highways England have launched a new scheme giving businesses, organisations and charities in West Yorkshire the opportunity to drive electric vans free of charge for up to two months.

As part of the EV Trials scheme, businesses and organisations will also be able to register to trial a range of private hire vehicles and e-bikes.

The scheme is aiming to tackle air pollution to protect the health of everyone in the region by helping businesses and organisations to reduce their emissions from travel.

More than 250 businesses and private hire drivers have already expressed their interest in the EV Trials scheme with organisations from a range of sectors, sizes and industries getting in touch.

Organisations participating in the EV Trials scheme will receive tailored advice to better understand how much money and emissions they could save by investing in greener and cleaner vehicles.

In a recent consultation more than 70% of Leeds residents surveyed said that they would consider switching to a low emission vehicle already or would do so if barriers were removed.

Councillor James Lewis, Executive Member for Resources at Leeds City Council, said: “Everyone has a responsibility to reduce emissions, help tackle air pollution and reduce their carbon footprint.

“We know that changing to electric vehicles would be a leap in the dark for some so this trial is to support businesses to understand the charging regime without having to make an upfront financial commitment.

“Not only are electric vehicles better for the environment, they’re also cheaper to run and maintain than traditional diesel and petrol vehicles. We’d encourage businesses and organisations from across the region to consider taking up a free trial. EVs could help them save on running costs while reducing levels of pollution in Leeds.”

Christopher Plumb, Highways England Air Quality Specialist, said: “We are excited to be supporting this project by Leeds City Council which encourages more businesses to try out electric vehicles. This project forms part of a programme of activity by Highways England to improve air quality across our network.”