Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Mans, said: “We aim to replace County Council vehicles with electric vehicles whenever possible. Electric vehicles save 9p on fuel costs for every mile driven, and have no emissions, which is why they form part of our overall strategy to reduce the County Council’s impact on the planet.
“It’s especially fitting to see our catering service, HC3S, beginning to use electric vehicles. After many years of championing local food suppliers, HC3S has already shown great commitment to minimising the carbon emissions of school meals. The natural next step is to introduce electric vehicles.”
Hampshire County Council’s Catering Service (HC3S) has taken on two electric cars and two electric vans, replacing older diesel vehicles that had reached the end of their lease. The cars will be used for administrative work, while the vans will deliver some 6,000 meals per week to schools that do not have their own kitchens.
One, based at Merton Junior School in Basingstoke, will be transporting meals to Sherbourne St John, covering 684 miles per year.
The other, based at Old Sarum Primary School in Salisbury, Wiltshire, will be transporting meals to Gomeldon Primary School and St Nicholas CE Primary School in Norton. This one will cover 1,482 miles per year.
The colourful HC3S livery on the vans – designed to make them instantly recognisable to their customers when they arrive at the school gate – is also a step forward in sustainability, being made from a new biodegradable wrap material.
Councillor Mans added, “For many years we have been supporting our staff to make fewer journeys, by providing the technology to work remotely and using more teleconferencing. Where journeys are unavoidable, our aim is to minimise the impact. This means using vehicles economically, and only replacing them when necessary – after all, producing new cars has a carbon footprint too. For this reason, the number of electric vehicles in the fleet is slowly growing, but in a gradual and sustainable way.”