Monday, July 13, 2009

Low Carbon Vehicle Program Winners Announced

Major Subsidies Possible for Manufacturers from UK Government
Shipping News Feature

UK - Winners of the first stage of the British governments Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Program (LCVPP), being run by the Department for Transport (DfT) have been announced. The first phase of the LCVPP will see a total of three suppliers deliver a maximum of 150 electric vans to 12 public sector bodies, including the Royal Mail, HMRC, Government Car & Despatch Agency, Metropolitan Police, Environment Agency, Transport for London and six consortia of local authorities, including one for Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council.

“The purchasing power of the public sector can also help in demonstrating the potential of new technology for decarbonising road transport,” said Lord Adonis. He added that the companies involved “will initially supply the first 100 vans to public sector bodies later this year, including the Environment Agency, HM Revenue and Customs and the Royal Mail, as well as councils from Glasgow, Newcastle and Gateshead to Leeds, Liverpool and Coventry.”

The companies involved have been named as Ashwoods, Allied Vehicles, Smith Electric Vehicles and Modec.

Smith Electric Vehicles, which is based in Washington, Tyne & Wear, is one of the three suppliers of electric vans included in the project and will supply the Smith Edison, which is based on the Ford Transit panel van. The Edison has been on sale for more than two years and is already in use with Royal Mail, the Government Car & Despatch Agency and the Environment Agency. The vehicle has a restricted top speed of 50mph and a range of up to 100 miles on a full battery charge.

The DfT is collating the requirements of the participating end users and will shortly inform each supplier of the number of vehicles it will be producing for phase one. If the first phase of the programme is successful, the DfT will look at the opportunity to expand the trials into the wider public sector. This could lead to widespread subsidies for public sector procurement of battery-powered vans.

Darren Kell, CEO of The Tanfield Group Plc, which owns Smith Electric Vehicles, said: "This programme gives us the opportunity to strengthen existing customer relationships and expand our end user base.

"We will be working hard to ensure that this first phase is a success, so that the DfT rolls out a wider subsidy programme to the public sector as a whole."

(pic: Edison Electric Van)