Chris Ayres, head of facilities at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, talks about working with Leeds City Council to launch the trust's first electric vehicle.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals has around 30 vehicles which are essential to delivering many of its services between sites and launching an electric vehicle was an important step forward in making our fleet more sustainable.
Our Nissan e-NV200 van, one of six vehicles supplied by Leeds City Council to the trust, has been used for a range of tasks, including delivering post and small goods around the different hospital sites in the city.
The van took its first trip on Clean Air Day 2017, a nationwide campaign where the public are encouraged to leave their cars at home or switch off the engine where possible. As well as being more environmentally friendly and reducing emissions, the van has also allowed the trust to benefit from fuel savings. The van has caused some curiosity among our staff as it has been the first time many of them have been near an electric vehicle. People have been impressed with how quiet the van is and how few moving parts the engine requires.
The van is the first step in our aim to have 20 per cent of our fleet electric by 2019 and we hope to continue to increase our charging points and the fleet. It’s great to be working in partnership with Leeds City Council and this enables us to contribute to the overall aim for Leeds to be a low sulphur city by 2020.
Introducing a low carbon fleet is one of a range of measures from the trust’s highly ambitious sustainability campaign, GRASP which stands for be Green, Recycle, be Aware, be Sustainable for our Patients. The campaign aims to reduce the carbon footprint of hospitals in Leeds and save money through steps like improving recycling and saving energy and sets the vision to become one of the greenest Trusts in the UK by 2020.
Alongside this, staff in hospitals across the Trust made pledges for National Clean Air Day including walking or cycling to work, sharing tips with patients and switching off the engine.