Zipcar has launched a new electric van sharing service, which is free for eligible small businesses to join, in Brixton to tackle the area’s high pollution levels.
A Renault EV Kangoo Maxi ZE van, run through Zipcar for Business, will be stationed on Pulross Road in Brixton and available for businesses to book for short business trips in and around Lambeth using the Zipcar app. Businesses will be responsible for charging the vehicle when needed at the charging point installed on Pulross Road.
The scheme aims to encourages businesses based locally to scrap older, higher polluting vans; reduce the number of vans on the roads generally, helping to tackle the area’s high congestion and pollution levels; reduce parking demand in the area; and ensure local businesses can continue to operate in the current and expanded ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ).
The scheme will run for an initial 12-month trial period and is the result of a joint collaboration between Lambeth Council, Brixton BID, Zipcar for Business and Cross River Partnership’s Clean Air Villages Programme. The project is funded by Lambeth Council and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Councillor Claire Holland, deputy leader of Lambeth Council and cabinet lead for the Environment and Clean Air, said: “I’m proud that right here in the heart of Brixton we have got London’s first electric van solely for the use of local businesses. We are determined to help Lambeth’s local businesses transition to low-carbon ways of working and electric vehicles and cargo bikes are the way forward.
"We all need to play our own role in tackling the climate crisis and by choosing to use electric vehicles, small businesses in Lambeth are leading from the front.”
Nine businesses have already signed up to the scheme, including the Courtesan Restaurant in Brixton.
Hammant Patel Villa, director, Courtesan Restaurant, said: "We are very pleased to be among the first Brixton businesses to benefit from this new shared electric van scheme. We believe it will allow us to significantly reduce our emissions, which is an important consideration for any London-based business today.
"We're prepared to implement a slightly more rigorous schedule when it comes to our deliveries and collections with the shared van, in return for benefits around the reduced hassle and cost of owning a van, plus the knowledge that we are working together with our local business community to make Brixton a cleaner place to live, work and play."