In a first for Tachoblog, we have a religion and transport story with the news that Gloucester Cathedral has purchased its first all-electric utility truck as part of a drive to reduce its carbon footprint and improve sustainability.
The Friends of Gloucester Cathedral has funded the investment in an Alke ATX200E truck from ePower Trucks, the UK supplier of low-cost, road-legal electric vehicles. Fully battery-powered, the ATX200E is a lightweight, compact utility vehicle with a 530kg payload and can tow up to 2,000kg.
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The vehicle’s batteries and efficient electric motor provide a range of 40 miles on a single charge. Powered by renewable energy, the 900 year-old Cathedral’s new truck creates zero CO2 emissions and no air pollution from its operations.
Speaking to Tachoblog, Mark Beckett, Chapter Steward at Gloucester Cathedral said, “The ePower Trucks vehicle is a big hit with my team. It is quiet, clean and very energy efficient, plus it is also much cheaper to run than our old diesel truck.
“We are extremely grateful to the Friends of Gloucester Cathedral for their support in procuring this vehicle, which will play its part in reducing the Cathedral’s carbon footprint.”
The ATX200E costs around 4p per mile in electricity to run. The simplicity of the electric motor means that maintenance requirements – and costs – are also a lot lower than on a diesel truck. As part of the handover, ePower Trucks conducted operator and technical training for five Cathedral employees.
They will deploy the vehicle in a range of facilities maintenance applications in the Cathedral grounds.
Jerry Hanss, Managing Director of ePower Trucks, told Tachoblog, “Our vehicles are specifically designed for closed campus operations like the work around Gloucester Cathedral. In this environment, our products are much cleaner, more efficient and more cost effective than diesel utility trucks.”
The vehicle from ePower Trucks replaces a hand-cranked, Lister diesel truck that has been in use at the Cathedral since 1964. It is believed to be the only truck of its type still in daily use – and Tachoblog’s on the hunt for pictures!
The investment in an all-electric truck is part of the Cathedral’s drive to reduce its carbon footprint. Gloucester Cathedral now buys renewable electricity from Ecotricity, a local social enterprise dedicated to generating energy from sustainable sources.
In 2010, the Cathedral also reduced skip use by 40 per cent through increased composting and recycling. Gloucester Cathedral’s Sustainability Policy can be downloaded from www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk