The University of Nottingham has welcomed nine vehicles with a difference to its fleet, all in the name of a cleaner Nottingham.
Nine Renault Kangoo electric vehicles will be used across University campuses as part of a sustainability strategy and pledge to reduce carbon impact, in line with Nottingham city’s wider commitment to electric vehicles.
Cutting cost and carbon footprint
The new electric vans will account for around 15 per cent of the vehicles used by the University’s Estates and Catering teams on a daily basis, and have many benefits over vehicles which run on fossil fuels like petrol and diesel including:
- Zero CO2 emissions, resulting in cleaner air and cutting the University’s carbon footprint
- Cost-effectiveness – at around three pence per mile, the vehicles cost pennies a day in electricity
- Quiet running, reducing noise pollution
The environmentally-friendly vehicles can travel up to 80 miles before they need recharging. Early feedback from drivers of the vans has been very positive, and the University’s Estates Office is also working closely with University academics to monitor the performance of the vans.
Colin Harley, Maintenance Operations Manager, Building Services and driver of one of the new vehicles, said: “These electric vehicles are ideal for our needs at the University. They have power in abundance, are even easier to drive than a petrol or diesel automatic, and with the normal distances we drive around campus they only require charging once a week.”
A cleaner commute
To support the wider use of electric vehicles, the University has installed charging stations, where staff and visitors can charge their personal electric vehicles free of charge. Anyone with a valid parking permit or a Pay and Display ticket can charge their vehicles at charging points located at the rear of the Mathematics Building, University Park and at Innovation Park, Jubilee Campus. Further charging points are planned to open at the University’s King’s Meadow and Sutton Bonington Campuses over summer 2015. And as an added bonus, staff who drive zero emission cars and electric vehicles also enjoy the lowest parking permit costs on University campuses.
Andy Nolan, Director of Sustainability, said: “The University is committed to reducing its environmental impact both locally and globally. The electric vehicles offer significant improvements to local air quality and reduce noise levels too as well as having some carbon reduction benefits. We are also making the charge points available to staff with electric cars for use during the day in the hope we will see more staff choose cleaner and more efficient cars to make their journey to work.”
A greener university, a greener city
The University’s sustainable transport initiatives reflect the commitment the city of Nottingham has to cleaner vehicle technology. Nottingham City Council currently boasts a fleet of more than 50 electric buses, the largest of its kind in Europe, and on 23 July was announced as a winner of over £30,000 funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, a team working across government as part of the Department for Transport, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Department of Energy & Climate Change. This fund will be used to undertake a feasibility study for electric taxi fleets in Nottingham alongside seven other UK cities to promote ultra-low emission vehicles.
The new Renault Kangaroo electric vans are not the first sustainable vehicles to be used by the University – in 2013, the Faculty of Engineering invested in a hydrogen-fuelled van, with a refuelling station at Jubilee Campus, as both a green initiative and an opportunity study the true cost of hydrogen fuel. Nottingham’s reputation as a leading green university is currently at an all-time high, with University Park and Jubilee Campuses recently securing prestigious Green Flag awards for the 13th and third years in a row respectively and Greenmetric naming the University number one in the world for sustainability in January 2015.
For more information about sustainability at The University of Nottingham, visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/sustainability