Carbon reduction drive helped by introduction of electric vans

Five new electric vans costing the public purse £60,000 are about to take to the road as part of a drive to reduce the carbon emissions caused by running council and NHS workers around the isles.

At the new electric vehicle charging point at Gilbertson Park (from left): Peter Mackay (SIC), Leslie Thomson (NHS) and Robert Inkster (SIC) with council leader Gary Robinson and NHS Shetland chief executive Ralph Roberts. Photo: SIC
At the new electric vehicle charging point at Gilbertson Park (from left): Peter Mackay (SIC), Leslie Thomson (NHS) and Robert Inkster (SIC) with council leader Gary Robinson and NHS Shetland chief executive Ralph Roberts. Photo: SIC

Three of the new fleet will be used by the SIC and council leader Gary Robinson said: “Both the council and the health board are keen to demonstrate that electric vehicles are now a mature, mainstream technology.

“Electric vehicles could contribute to savings of up to five million tons of CO2 per year across Europe by 2020, and these vans will make excellent additions to our fleets. We would hope that other organisations and individuals would think about how they too can contribute to the transition from fossil fuels to alternative forms of transport.

“Shetland’s rich renewable resources lend themselves to this technology and electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles can help give us a sustainable transport future.”

The vehicles are Nissan e-NV200s.  They have a range of 106 miles between charges, and can be charged in 30 minutes at a rapid charge point, or overnight from a standard plug to take advantage of off-peak energy costs.

The vehicles are fully funded, on a three-year lease; SIC received £40,000, NHS Shetland £21,000. It is hoped that the Scottish government-funded vehicles will encourage more customers to take the plunge and convert to electric vehicles.

A network of charging points has been installed ranging from Baltasound to Dunrossness and including one in Fetlar. There are six charge points in Lerwick and according to the SIC they “are already being used regularly, as private individuals change from fossil fuel to electric”.

The government wants to decarbonise the road transport sector by 2050 and funding is available for charge points to be installed at homes. Across Scotland it is said many customers use their own wind turbines to charge the vehicles from their own wind power.

NHS Shetland chief executive Ralph Roberts said: “NHS Shetland is pleased to be supporting this important development. We should all recognise the importance of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and minimising climate change. These vehicles give us the opportunity to show how we can tackle emissions from the considerable mileage our staff need to do to provide health care across Shetland, and I look forward to watching how this progresses”


Add Your Comment
  • ian tinkler

    • September 18th, 2017 14:49

    What a bunch of numpties. These vehicles produce more CO2 than their petrol equivalents. It takes eight years just to recover the CO2 footprint of their batteries production/ manufacture and all their electric charging is done by oil burn generation at Gremister. It is incredible such ignorance exists in our leaders.

  • Johan Adamson

    • September 19th, 2017 8:35

    This is surely for the wealthy. As soon as these cars (batteries and charging points) become cheap enough to afford we will have to pay to charge and also will find it difficult to find a spot. Would it no be a good idea to put charging points on the ferries that way the 1/2 hour fast charge time is done at the same time as the commute?

  • ian tinkler

    • September 19th, 2017 13:55

    Johan, Just think of the fuel burning and CO2 footprint of a generator on the ferry!! Now, how about wind ferries to match the obsolete technology of the infamous windmills. We could add oars to the ferries for still days and really go back to Viking times. Save a lot of fuel burn and cost that way completely renewable and carbon-free apart from the rowers breathing!!

  • Johan Adamson

    • September 20th, 2017 8:29

    The ferries are already the worst offenders in environmental terms the SIC has, worse than the lack of recycling, so what difference.


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