Renault has teamed up with Kent County Council and Highways England to launch a new ‘try before you buy’ scheme for electric vans.
Kent County Council has taken delivery of 20 all-electric Renault Kangoo E-Tech and four Renault Zoe Vans for its new Kent Realising Electric Vans Scheme (REVS), through which local businesses can trial of one of the light commercial vehicles for up two months.
Kent REVS is being operated by Commercial Services Kent Ltd (CSKL), with the ultimate aim of reducing carbon emissions and air pollution across the Kent road network and accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles throughout the region.
The rationale of Kent REVS is that more businesses will be more likely to convert their fleets to electric if they have an opportunity to try the vehicles for an extended period, before committing to a purchase or long-term lease.
The zero-emissions-in-use Renault vans are the first vehicles available via the project, with Kent County Council citing the vans range and usability as the primary reasons for choosing them.
Highways England has provided £1.5 million funding for the two-year initiative, with the eventual aim that Kent REVS will have a fleet of 48 EVs available for trial. As part of the funding, and to aid with the efficient charging of the new Renault vans, CSKL has installed new charge points at its operating bases in New Hythe and Kings Hill, with a further ten rapid chargers planned for other publicly accessible locations across the County.
Kent County Council says the installation complements its plans to increase the number of EV charging points for businesses and the public across the county.
Tony Hills, Cabinet Member for Environment at Kent County Council, said: “Making the transition to electric vehicles can seem a big step for businesses and Kent REVS provides a risk-free way for them to experience the many benefits over a significant period. The Renault Kangoo E-Tech and Renault Zoe Van were identified as the ideal electric vans to include in the launch of Kent REVS with their ease-of-use ensuring that all types of drivers can quickly get used to the driving and charging experience of an electric vehicle, whilst also being suitable for a wide range of businesses.”
The launch of Kent REVS follows the successful implementation of a similar scheme by Leeds City Council in 2020, which was also funded by Highways England and features 20 Renault Kangoo E-Tech vans. Kent REVS also supports Kent County Council’s drive for net-zero emissions for its estate and operations by 2030. Together with investment in renewable energy and smarter working practices, core to achieving its target is a shift to electric fleet vehicles.
Reflecting on Kent County Council’s decision to choose Renault electric vans, Vincent Tourette, managing director of Renault UK, said: “It’s fantastic to see that Renault Kangoo E-Tech and Renault Zoe Van have been chosen as the electric vans to launch Kent REVS and that they will play a part in helping Kent County Council achieve a greener, cleaner transport infrastructure throughout the region. Their adoption by the scheme reinforces how easy they are to drive and how they epitomise all the benefits there are to switching from a van that is powered by a conventional diesel or petrol engine to one that is pure electric, all without having any impact on the operational effectiveness of a business.”