Wokingham Borough Council’s contractor VolkerHighways will be using two new electric vehicles to travel across the borough’s road network to help cut the council’s carbon footprint.
It is the first of the council’s key suppliers to take such a bold step in support of its declaration of climate emergency in the summer.
The electric cars will be used by customer service officers when they go to help residents with queries on everything from potholes and pavement defects to street lighting and drainage.
The officers cover a significant number of miles each year, and previously used petrol vehicles.
The new electric cars, chosen by VolkerHighways, will help the company and the council take steps towards reducing carbon emissions. They will also be more cost-effective to run in the long term.
“Replacing petrol vehicles with electric for our customer service officers as part of the highways contract is another step on our journey to be a carbon neutral borough by 2030,” said Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport.
“These are just the first electrical vehicles we will use in the Wokingham Highway Alliance, alongside our contractors VolkerHighways and WSP, with more in the pipeline in 2020, helping to reduce the borough’s carbon footprint and make long-term savings on fuel.
“VolkerHighways deserve the credit and our praise for this step and it should be clear that this is them taking an early lead in supporting our vital climate emergency initiative. I hope to see more and more of our suppliers and contractors following suit in the coming months, finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Daron Mizen, project manager for VolkerHighways, said: “I am delighted that we are introducing more electric vehicles into our fleet.
"It is necessary for us to regularly travel throughout the borough’s road network, to carry out our work and these new cars will help us to reduce our environmental impact.”
VolkerHighways and the council are looking into adding further electric vehicles to the fleet as part of the highways contract as both look to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
The council is currently working on its Climate Emergency action plan, which will be presented at next month’s council meeting on 23 January. This will set out how the authority aims to reach its target of a carbon neutral borough by 2030.