Noiseless vans take to roads in eco-friendly pilot project

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Eco-friendly electric vans are taking to the roads of a Sheffield housing estate in a pilot scheme to cut vehicle emissions - but residents are warned to take extra care as the fleet makes hardly any sound.

The vans, which have a range of 80 miles on a full charge, have been introduced by Shiregreen landlord Sanctuary Housing as part of a pilot to reduce the estate’s carbon footprint and cut down on energy consumption.

They will be used by the company’s gas servicing team.

Shiregreen was selected for the pilot because of the close proximity of Sanctuary’s 2,500 properties on the estate, making it an ideal location for electric cars.

With an estimated annual mileage of around 8,700 per vehicle, it is expected that nearly four tonnes of carbon emissions will be prevented from being released into the atmosphere every year through their use, Sanctuary said.

But the company added that residents should take ‘extra care’ when out and about and crossing roads because of the lack of engine noise.

Meanwhile, two Rotherham councillors are trialling electric cars.

Council leader Coun Roger Stone and his colleague, Coun Jahangir Akhtar, will have the use of a plug-in Toyota Prius while they are on local authority business.

Coun Stone is currently heading an initiative involving councils around the Yorkshire region to promote electric vehicle use.

He said: “It will be very interesting to see how the vehicle performs over the next three months, giving the authority the opportunity to gain a valuable insight into electric vehicles and evaluating whether there are opportunities to use them more widely as part of our transport arrangements.

“Alternative energy sources cannot be ignored.”