In their drive to make operations carbon neutral by 2030, Glastonbury Town Council’s electric van is expected to save a tonne of carbon dioxide every year.
When their old diesel van finally gave up the ghost, members of the town council had a choice: buy a new diesel van, a new electric van, or a second hand one. Their declaration of a climate emergency, and commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 – as well as build Glastonbury’s resilience – means that diesel was out of the question. The thought of a shiny new electric van showcasing the latest technology was very tempting. However, the final choice of a second-hand electric van turned out to be the perfect solution, for a number of reasons:
- The van is mainly used for pottering around the town, doing not much more than 10 miles a day, and doesn’t require the amazing 120mile range that a new van’s battery pack would offer.
- By buying second hand, the council is reducing waste, and the unnecessary environmental impacts of new materials.
- A global shortage of semi-conductors means a wait of several years for some new electric vehicles, and if we’re serious about tackling the climate emergency, we cannot wait.
- A new van would be nearly twice the price of a used one.
So, what is this van like, and is it up to the job? We asked a member of the community services team how it is to drive, and he said “I’m in love!”. Another member of the team said that he looks forward to the day that he will get an electric car of his own.
The van that Glastonbury Town Council purchased is a 2017 Nissan e-NV200, a combination of the award winning NV200 van and the innovative 100% electric Nissan LEAF. There is no internal combustion engine in an electric vehicle, meaning fewer moving parts. Instead, the van is run by an electric motor, powered by the battery pack. It can be charged by plugging in to the mains, or charging point, and with a full charge is capable of around 80 miles.
Glastonbury’s Deputy Mayor, Cllr Laiqa Browne is really pleased that the van is already starting to pay for itself. “We’re saving on running costs, road tax, and maintenance costs. And it’s also much quieter, and cleaner, which helps in a busy town like Glastonbury.”
The Mayor Cllr Jon Cousins sees the van as an important step in reducing carbon emissions, and building Glastonbury’s resilience. “The pandemic and recent extreme weather events have shown us how quickly things can change. And by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, we can build capacity in renewable energy networks, with building-integrated, and community level systems, as well as the national grid.”