20 November 2014 - The pair of plug-ins are among 19 vehicles supplied to The Royal Parks (www.royalparks.org.uk) by the commercial vehicle division of Business Mobility specialist, Alphabet.
It is the first time the Royal Parks has had electric vehicles on its fleet and the move fits in with its green ethos. As well as a Green Housekeeping Committee looking at ways to minimize its environmental impact, the agency has an Ecology Officer to help it sustain biodiversity in its 5,000 acres of historic parkland.
Dave Jordan, Assistant Park Manager, said: "Electric cars are ideal for us. They're quiet and of course they don't emit any fumes. The Leafs are based in Hyde Park and St James Park, where they are charged overnight. Their range is easily enough to cover journeys to and from the farthest parks we manage, Richmond and Greenwich."
The other vehicles supplied by Alphabet include estates, vans, pick-ups and 4x4s, from Citroen, Ford, Land Rover, Vauxhall and Ford. Alphabet arranged a variety of modifications, ranging from adding LED hazard warning lights to significant bodywork alterations to two Land Rovers used for wildlife management in Richmond and Bushy Parks. Qi Van Systems of Telford (www.qivansystems.co.uk) carried out the modifications.
The 10 off-road vehicles in the order are painted in The Royal Parks' distinctive dark green livery. On Alphabet’s recommendation, nine cars used in administrative roles were vinyl-wrapped to reduce costs. "That's another first for us. We're interested to see how the vinyl wrap performs," said Dave Jordan.
Royal Parks leased the vehicles from Alphabet on five-year, maintenance-inclusive contracts, and the vehicles are also insured through Aviva. The supply contract was awarded by the Crown Commercial Service after a four-way tender process.
In addition to the two Nissan Leafs supplied to Royal Parks, Alphabet has delivered over 60 electric vehicles to fleet customers in London in the past six months. Dave Freeman, Commercial Vehicle Consultant at Alphabet, said: "We've seen a surge of interest in electric vans and cars from city-based businesses. People can see that EVs are practical and commercially viable. And of course they project the exactly the right company image at a time of rising public concern about local air quality in our cities."