We don’t just talk the talk when it comes to green vehicles – we’re well on our way to converting our own fleet too – and investing in maintenance and charging infrastructure that will support more people in the city to make the switch.
A key part of our Local Plan to improve air quality in Nottingham was upgrading our own fleet of vehicles. Thirty per cent of our fleet is now made up of electric vehicles with 142 currently in operation. The transition has been rapid from just two EVs four years ago, but our comprehensive Fleet Electrification Strategy allowed us to quickly move forward to meet our targets.
We have a range of electric vehicles that help the council deliver vital services across the city, from getting kids to school to bin collections and street sweepers.
EVs keeping streets clean
In a world first, two fully electric purpose built bin lorries started their rounds in 2020. The sparkling new, clean and green answer to bin collections, the lorries save up to 70 litres of diesel and 360kg of CO2 every day. They are expected to save the taxpayer £32,000 per year in running costs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the city by 52 tonnes per year – the equivalent of 2,000 trees.
Electric street sweepers began cleaning Nottingham’s streets in March 2018. These save at least £20,000 each year on fuel costs alone. Not only are they cleaner for the air, they’re also considerably quieter in operation, resulting in less disturbance for the citizens of Nottingham.
Along with the street sweepers, the fleet also includes three 3.5 tonne electric cage tippers, used to empty public litter bins. These came into service in January 2018.
EVs helping with school transport
Children using Nottingham City Council’s passenger transport service are now benefiting from greener, cleaner minibuses. The first five electric minibuses to be used by a local authority in the UK have been deployed, with plans for a further four if the vehicles are a success. These are being used by children with special educational needs and disabilities who attend Oakfield School.
These are beneficial to children with respiratory issues, especially when loading vehicles with wheelchair bound children, as the extended idling time now does not involve harmful emissions being given off near children. One of the minibuses has solar panels on the roof to help recharge the battery as part of a pilot scheme to reduce time needed to recharge at the depot.
Taxis making the switch
Our taxis are going electric, forty-five of Nottingham’s Hackney cabs have switched over, and from 2025 only ULEVs will be registered for operation within the city. The council has bought 17 ULEV taxis which drivers are able to borrow for 30 days at a time to try before they buy. This provides an insight into an ULEV taxi for the drivers and allows drivers to see the reduced “fuel” costs. Wireless Charging Electric Taxis (WiCET) are on their way to Nottingham’s streets too.
Nottingham City Council is the UK’s first local authority to run a service centre exclusively for Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles – Nottingham Electric Vehicle Services (NEVS). The creation of a dedicated electric vehicle garage will help smooth the public and private industry’s transition to ULEV fleets by providing a local, fully operational facility.
NEVS enables Nottingham City Council to service, MOT, and repair its own fleet of electric vehicles and offer these services to other local authorities, businesses, and the general public – creating a hub for electric vehicle maintenance and knowledge sharing in the East Midlands. NEVS will provide specialist technicians, plant, and equipment and utilise the latest ULEV technology. It can cater for electric cars, vans, and taxis as well as specialist fleet vehicles.
For more information about NEVS please visit: Nottingham Electric Vehicle Services (NEVS)
Making charging more accessible
To supplement the switch to electric vehicles throughout the Nottingham area, over 400 charge points have been installed in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, with over 150 of these being in Nottingham city centre. These charge points will eliminate range anxiety with so many places to stop and charge.
Smarter electrical usage
We’re thinking ahead with the Vehicle to Grid project (V2G) a smarter, more efficient way to use and store energy. Using the batteries in forty V2G capable electric vehicles as part of an integrated system they can feed power back into the grid at times of high demand, and store energy when there is a surplus. This aims to work out how EVs, storage and on-site generation can help to optimise charging, and maximise the use of renewable generation and help to balance the grid.