Tachoblog has learnt that Leeds City Council is buying four Smith Edison electric vans for its municipal fleet.

smith edison panel van

The Smith Edison panel van is a pure electric version of the Ford Transit that is driven by an electric motor and powered by leading edge lithium-ion batteries. Designed and built in the UK by Smith Electric Vehicles, Edison has a top speed of 50mph and a range of up to 100 miles on a single battery charge. A full recharge takes six to eight hours.

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Kevin Harkin, Sales Director for Smith Electric Vehicles, told Tachoblog, “Leeds is a progressive, forward-thinking council that fully understands the benefits electric commercial vehicles can deliver.

“We are delighted to be supplying the authority’s first electric vans and look forward to working closely with the council in the future.”

The council has placed its first order as part of the city’s commitment to the Lower Carbon Vehicle Public Procurement Programme (LCVPP). Leeds is one of the six local authorities involved in the Department for Transport’s national programme, which aims to introduce low carbon vehicles into public sector fleets.

Speaking to Tachoblog, Councillor Richard Brett, leader of the council and executive board member responsible for commercial transport said: “We’re really pleased to be involved in this pilot scheme, which gives us the opportunity to investigate new vehicle technology without the financial risks.

“The council made a commitment to reducing its carbon emissions by signing the Nottingham Declaration in 2006, and since then measures to reduce carbon emissions in transport have been integral to a number of council plans and policies.  This project will help to promote more sustainable modes of travel, and hopefully lead to better availability of alternative fuelled vehicles for the general market.”