Newham Council have approved plans to begin the replacement of their council vehicle fleet with greener models over the next five years, with a first wave of 210 vehicles set to be replaced initially.
Under the agreed plans, the council will change the vehicles from current leasing agreements at no additional cost and replace their fleet with 170 new vans and 40 minibuses which are either fully electric, hybrid or low-emissions models.
The vehicle replacement plans have been introduced to help Newham Council meet the green commitments set out in their Air Quality Action Plan and move towards climate emergency ambitions of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050.
At a council meeting on May 11, 2021, approval was granted to procure this first wave of green vehicles, following on from a decision in October 2020 to commit £20m investment into green fleet over the next five years.
The newly-procured vehicles will ensure Newham Council can meet the legal standards required by the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone due to be introduced in October 2021.
The new green fleet will help the council carry out roles such as transport for special educational needs and disabilities, planned and unplanned housing repairs and maintenance, and street cleansing.
All vehicles procured will be fitted with monitoring systems to observe driver behaviour such as speed, braking, miles per gallon, idling and overall carbon footprint of the vehicle, with that information then being used to ensure council drivers are informed and able to get the most from the new vehicles.
Cabinet Lead for Environment, Highways and Sustainable Transport, Cllr James Asser said: “The replacement vehicles offer positive benefits to air quality in the borough, they will consume less fuel and create less pollution.
" As a council we’re committed to delivering our Air Quality Action Plan to improve the health of residents and the environment of the borough, and are aiming for a fully green fleet by 2030.
“The cost of the new vehicles is in line with the current leasing arrangements and with a high number of our vehicle leases expiring this year now is the right time to begin the changes.
“We will be looking for further opportunities to invest in new greener vehicles as they become available as well as reducing vehicle use and moving to alternatives where possible.”