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Swale businesses highest in Kent for cleaner air scheme

Published Friday 14 May, 2021
Last updated on Friday 14 May, 2021

Businesses in Swale have taken the top spot in Kent by borrowing 10 electric vans from Kent County Council’s (KCC) Kent Realising Electric Vans Scheme (REVS).

The scheme loans electric vans to businesses around Kent for two months, giving them the opportunity to trial the vehicles and see if making the switch will work for their business.

KCC launched the two-year scheme in February following £1.5 million funding from Highways England.

Age UK Faversham and Sittingbourne were one of the first businesses in Swale to take advantage of the trial.

Clare Burgess, CEO at Age UK Faversham and Sittingbourne, said:

“We’ve never used an electric vehicle before and were keen to give it a go.

“We’re really pleased we did. The process to join the trial was really simple. We completed the online form, and someone reached out to us within a few days.

“As a charity, the idea of purchasing an electric vehicle seemed beyond our reach. But thanks to the trial, we now know that an electric van will work for us and that we can apply for funding to help us with the cost.

“Following the trial, we received £800 government funding towards two vehicle charging points which drastically reduced the price. We’re also in the process of applying for lottery funding to help cover the cost of an electric vehicle

“Switching to electric will help us contribute to cleaner air quality and save money at the same time.”

Cllr Julian Saunders, cabinet member for the environment at the council, said:

“We are delighted to see such a strong take up of the electric van scheme by businesses in Swale.

“Improving air quality and cutting vehicle emissions are key priorities for us and seeing local businesses across the borough​ keen to switch to electric vehicles is not only encouraging but shows us that we’re on the right track.

“KCC currently have 30 electric vans out on loan and are waiting for a further 18 vans to be delivered.

“If you haven’t signed up to the trial yet, join the wait list today. Electric vehicles help lower emissions and help save you money.”

Eddie Thomas, deputy cabinet member for the environment at the council, said:

“We urge local businesses to join others that have joined the trial. Switching to an electric vehicle can save you money and lets your customers know that you are doing your bit to improve air quality.

“We are installing more charging infrastructure than ever around the borough, making it easier for people and businesses to make the switch.”

The cleaner air electric van scheme runs until January 2023.

For more information and to join the scheme, visit www.lowcarbonkent.com/kent-revs-van-trial.