Notts Funeral Directors Trial City Council’s Electric Van Experience

Nottinghamshire’s largest independent funeral directors, A.W. Lymn The Family Funeral Service, is leading the way for the funeral industry as it adds an electric van to its fleet as part of Nottingham City Council’s Electric Van Experience (EVE).

The firm is taking part in the initiative which offers a free 30-day trial of a small or medium electric van, designed by the council to offer a try-before-you-buy experience as it encourages firms in the region to ‘go electric’.

The Highways England funded project, which runs until November 2022, was introduced to help the transition of vans and fleet vehicles to lower emissions and improve air quality on roads across the city, contributing towards Nottingham’s carbon-neutral objectives.

Operating 27 funeral homes throughout Nottinghamshire and South Derbyshire, with its head office in the centre of Nottingham, A.W. Lymn has cared for the bereaved in the region for more than 100 years and is known for having the largest Rolls-Royce funeral fleet in the world, with nine hearses and 25 cars.

Fifth generation of the family business and Managing Director at the firm, Matthew Lymn Rose, explains why they decided to trial the electric experience: “At Lymns, our fleet of cars is at the centre of everything we do, whether that be as part of our traditional or bespoke hearses, or the maintenance vans on site, we use our vehicles daily and thereby cover a lot of miles. Introducing electric vehicles has been something we have long considered, so when the council approached us with this initiative, we were keen to explore the opportunity.

“The EVE has allowed us to trial electric without the up-front costs of buying an electric van and setting up the charging points, it’s been a great opportunity to see how it would integrate within the business. So far we have been using the van for the stonemasons and ground maintenance which has been great, it has certainly improved our view on electric vehicles and confirmed our thoughts to introducing them into our fleet in the future.”

The EVE was introduced when Nottingham City Council was successful in winning a £2.69m Government grant. All vehicles in the EVE fleet produce zero tailpipe emissions and provide businesses in Nottingham with the opportunity to experience clean commercial transport first-hand.

Councillor Sally Longford, Deputy Leader at the City Council and Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment, said: “It’s fantastic to hear A.W. Lymn has had a great experience with the van and this trial has provided confidence in making the switch in the future.

“With the Government ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in 2030, we’re looking to support local businesses and organisations, large and small, to try greener technology. Apart from the benefits of lowering your carbon footprint and improving air quality, in the long term electric vehicles are cheaper to run and maintain too.

“Making Nottingham the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2028 will need everyone to play their part and I’d like to thank all businesses who have already taken this opportunity. We have a range of vans available and I’d encourage others to get in touch to see how we can help.”

Highways England’s Customer Services Director, Melanie Clarke, said: “We’re keen to play our part in helping to improve air quality and tackle carbon emissions. Our work with Nottingham City Council is just one example of us working with local authorities across the country to encourage businesses to make the switch to electric vehicles.”

Matthew explained how over recent years they have witnessed an increase in the number of enquiries the business receives about eco-funerals, as people have become more conscious about the impact their choices can have on the environment.

He said: “The rise in requests for eco-funerals is a prime example of the changing landscape of funerals in the 21st century as more people look to implement environmentally friendly practices. At A.W. Lymn we pride ourselves on our commitment to doing all we can to meet each of our client’s individual requests during the funeral planning process, which is why we spend time monitoring, researching, and resourcing new products and technologies within our industry.

“Trialling an electric van is just one of the ways we aim to reduce our carbon footprint, but also harness better use of resources in a more efficient way that will bring benefits to the families we care for in the region.”