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University of Bristol goes green with four electric vans

(From l-r): Steve Wonnacott, Print Production Assistant, Rob Collins, Mechanical Technician, David Tonkin, Head of Facilities Management Soft Services, Brian Thomas, Approved Electrician, Kate Hancock, from Wessex Garages, and Keith Cartwright, Senior Estates Assistant.

Press release issued: 19 August 2016

Four electric vehicles are now being used by the University of Bristol as it aims to cut its carbon footprint.

It's taken delivery of four Nissan e-NV200 Combi vans, which are 100 per cent electric, to be used for frequent short journeys around the campus.

David Tonkin, Head of Facilities Management Soft Services at the University of Bristol, said: "We decided to look in to electric vehicles for a variety of reasons both in the interests of sustainable fleet management and basic operational requirements.

"Our Print Services team were having difficulties with their existing diesel vehicle, which wasn’t suited to a hilly, city environment with the stop-start, frequent short journeys we tend to make at the University."

After looking at the options available, the Print Services team trialled an electric van from Nissan and found that it could do the job without any of the difficulties experienced with the diesel, such as having to run it up the motorway once a week to clear the particulate filter.

The University then looked at other areas where might benefit from using electric vehicles and identified its post and maintenance teams. The vehicles are more suited to the multiple short journeys taken each day, improve the air quality on campus and can be charged overnight.

David added: "An added benefit is the time saved. We now no longer have downtime fuelling the vehicles off-site or 'exercising' them up the motorway to clear the particulate filters. The Nissan e-NV200 has the right range and load capacity for our usage so there is no operational compromise we’ve had to make. In fact, they’re better for our purposes than the previous vehicles."

One vehicle is for the university's Print Services team, one for its postal team and two for its maintenance team. All of the teams have similar requirements, they carry loads anything from boxes of open day brochures and daily post collections to spare pumps, motors and ladders for the maintenance team.

They travel around the city campus making multiple short journeys and drop offs. On an average day, each vehicle will cover 10 to 20 miles stopping off at as many as 20 buildings for collections and deliveries.

The University of Bristol has four charging points, one for each van. Three are located next to its Estates Office at Old Park Hill and one is located at Senate House where the post team are based.

Kate Hancock, Nissan Business Specialist at Wessex Garages on Hayes Way, said: "We have worked extremely hard over the past year informing businesses in Bristol of the benefits of turning to an electric vehicle. It is fantastic that the University of Bristol has taken the step to have an environmentally-friendly sustainable fleet. We hope more businesses in the city will follow in their tyre treads.

"The Nissan e-NV200 combines the NV200 - a former International Van of the Year – with the proven technology of the record breaking Nissan LEAF, the world's bestselling electric car. It is the most economical, commercial vehicle ever produced and has been designed to be quiet, quick, comfortable, clean and cost-efficient for businesses. We hope to see many more Nissan e-NV200 fleets soon in the city."

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