Fareham Borough Council goes eco-friendly with new electric vehicle

ECO Gardener Barry Winn with the vehicle
ECO Gardener Barry Winn with the vehicle

City MP appointed to accounts committee at parliament

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THIS electric vehicle is expected to become a common sight around Fareham.

Plugging directly into the mains, it can be fully charged in three hours at a cost of about 40p, giving it a range of 60 miles and a top speed of 30mph.

The vehicle is intended for general use in and around the town centre, for grounds maintenance and litter collection.

Councillor Leslie Keeble said: ‘This proves our green credentials as a council.

‘It’s just one of the things we’re doing as a council to be more environmentally friendly.

‘We have been looking at solar panels for the council offices and all our big vehicles have had special exhausts fitted so they can be more efficient.’

And he said the local authority could look at increasing its fleet if the truck proves to be a hit.

Cllr Keeble added: ‘We will have to evaluate how it is working out a few months down the line and see if it’s operationally effective. And if it is, then there is every chance we will be getting more.’

Council gardener Barry Winn has been among the first to try it out. He said: ‘It’s nice and easy to drive, it’s like driving a Mini Metro.

‘It’s a bit slow on the hills but apart from that it’s fine. It’s quite small so it’s handy for getting in and out of tight spots.

‘And it can take a decent weight as well which is helpful to us.’

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of the council, said: ‘As far as I am aware, Fareham is the only local authority in Hampshire using such a vehicle, which with its zero emissions is a great benefit to the environment.’

The Green Machine is two years old and cost £7,000. It is expected to last five to seven years. A new machine would cost £15,000.