HAMPSHIRE County Council has rolled out its first electric vehicles for staff use to help cut fuel and energy costs.

A new electric delivery van and pool car based at Bar End, Winchester, will cost 97 per cent less to ‘fuel’ than equivalent diesel vehicles.

The council is also reviewing which other vehicles in its 156 small vehicle fleet could be replaced with electrics – which could save £210,000 every year.

The council has already saved nearly £30 million in energy costs over the past seven years after cutting its carbon emissions by 38 per cent since 2010.

It has now set a more ambitious target to cut carbon from 40 per cent to 50 per cent by 2025.

Cllr Mel Kendal, executive member for economic development, said: “As a publicly-funded authority, it’s vital that our proposals make economic and environmental sense.

“The decreasing cost of electric vehicles makes this an ideal time to start replacing our small diesel vehicles – which could dramatically reduce our fuel costs.

“Electric vehicles could also save an estimated 400 tonnes of carbon emissions, helping the environment and delivering cleaner air for Hampshire residents.”

The new electric vehicles include a Nissan E-NV200 van which will be used to deliver supplies to schools and county council offices in Winchester, and a Nissan Leaf which will be used as a staff pool car.

Two new electric vehicle charging points at Bar End, Winchester, are not for public use, but are the first of approximately 40 new charging points to be installed by the county council across Hampshire.

Sites have yet to be finalised, but could include the county council’s country parks where some charge points could be available for public use.

A new tender process is currently underway to appoint a private sector partner to install and operate the charging points.

Electric vehicle charging points

Hampshire County Council and its partners have already installed 14 electric vehicle charging points. Eight rapid charge points (half hour charge required) have been installed at:

• Winchester - University of Winchester, Romsey Road

• Romsey - Romsey Rapids Leisure Centre Car Park

• Andover - Texaco Service Station, Charlton Road

Fareham - Civic Way (North) Car Park

• Farnborough - Esso Petrol Station, Bridge Road

Ringwood - The Furlong Car Park, A31

• Eynsham (Oxfordshire) - BP Service Station, A40

• Newport (Isle of Wight) - Central Car Park

Six fast charge points (three to four hours charging required) have also been installed at:

• Winchester - Winchester South Park & Ride

• Winchester - University of Winchester, Romsey Road

• Basingstoke - Churchill Way Car Park

• Farnborough - Queensmead Car Park

Gosport - South Street Car Park

• Petersfield - Festival Hall Car Park