Elmbridge Borough Council charges ahead with Volkswagen Financial Services | Fleet (VWFS | Fleet)
In the leafy Surrey Borough of Elmbridge, an important trial is taking place with three brand-new Volkswagen E-Up! electric vehicles. It’s an initiative that could signal a way forward for mobility in the public sector and other local authorities are following it with interest.
These innovative vehicles have five doors, a range of up to 93 miles on a single charge and can be fully charged in as little as 30 minutes. This makes them ideal for Elmbridge’s Environmental Services Team whose officers make regular short trips around the borough dealing with everything from fly-tipping to food hygiene inspections.
A cost-saving initiative
It all started as a way of saving money. It was decided to provide pool cars for the department rather than making officers reclaim mileage from their own vehicles. Low running costs were the key factor in choosing electric vehicles, of course, but the lack of emissions was also important. The environmental department was keen to reduce its own environmental impact.
“We went through a rigorous decision process”, explains Senior Environmental Services Officer, Jo Chauhan.
“Three leasing companies tendered for the contract and VWFS | Fleet offered the best package, including servicing and breakdown cover. It helped that we’d already road-tested the Volkswagens and liked them and they were able to supply the right vehicles at the right cost.”
A popular choice
In the short time the scheme has been up and running, the electric vehicles have already made significant savings for the department. And they’re proving so popular that other departments have been queuing up to give them a try. Plus, there’s been an unexpected by-product of the pool car scheme; some staff are choosing to cycle to work as they no longer need to use their own cars during the working day.
So it’s not just the finances that are feeling fitter.
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