Six new electric vehicles are to be put in place at Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust sites across the county.
They will be at three trust premises, Berrywood Hospital in Duston, Northampton, Campbell House in Northampton and St. Mary’s Hospital in Kettering.
Each of these locations will have two permanently-based EVs; one of which will be used exclusively by the trust during business hours (and made available to the public at evenings and weekends) and the other which will be available for private use at all times.
Electrical hook-ups are also available at Isebrook Hospital in Wellingborough, Willowbrook Health Centre in Corby and Manfield Campus in Northampton.
By operating a fleet of vehicles which omit zero carbon, they are able to conduct business travel in a way which has no negative effects on local air quality, and by reducing the need for pool cars or staff use of their own vehicles, they’re also taking cars off the road which has a positive impact on congestion and parking pressure throughout the county.
Chairman of the trust Paul Bertin, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we at Northamptonshire Healthcare have taken this significant step forward and are the first NHS trust in the county to provide such a service for our staff and the public.
“As a trust we have made a commitment to reduce our carbon footprint by 28% by 2020 and by encouraging our staff to park up their own vehicle and use an electric vehicle for business travel will help us move towards achieving this target. Looking after the environment is everyone’s responsibility. Providing such a countywide service for our staff and the Northamptonshire public will further raise the profile of sustainability and how we can all do more for our environment.”
The fleet has been provided by E-Car Club Ltd, a UK-wide operator of similar schemes.
In November last year, E-Car Club launched in the centre of Northampton in partnership with Northamptonshire County Council and the Royal & Derngate theatre, with the latest launch bringing the total number of locations across the county to four, with more potential locations also in the pipeline.
E-Car Club managing director, Chris Morris said: “Our model has been proven to benefit businesses, local authorities and local communities in multiple locations across the UK, and it is somewhat humbling to collaborate with an organisation with care, wellbeing and community at the heart of its values as this mirrors so many of E-Car’s social objectives and beliefs.
The trust’s fleet consists of a combination of Renault ZOE and Nissan LEAF fully electric hatchbacks, with an average range of 90 miles on a single charge.
Membership criteria to be allowed to use the cars is:
- over 19 years of age, been driving for more than one year, no more than 6 points on license and no serious driving convictions or fault accidents within the last three years.
- There is a one-off joining fee of £50 which covers a DVLA license check, provision of a membership card and access to the online booking system, allowing 24/7 self-service across the fleet. Members can access any vehicles on the E-Car network.