Smart Transport

Nottingham offers 30-day ‘try before you buy’ electric vehicle scheme

Nottingham is offering trials of electric vehicles for 30 days as part of a try before you buy scheme being operated by EV specialist leasing company DriveElectric.

The scheme, which has now been running for the last 18 months, has been piloted by the Nottingham ULEV Experience project and financed through Nottingham City Council’s Go Ultra Low funding.

The programme has been delivered by a consortium led by Cenex, with partners from DriveElectric, the Energy Saving Trust, RideWise, CleanTech Business and Automotive Comms.

A total of 52 organisations in Nottingham have enjoyed 72 EV loans over the last 18 months, with 20 EVs being adopted as a result so far.

DriveElectric said the scheme could act as a blueprint for other UK cities that are considering or introducing Clean Air Zones as a way to help fleets and drivers thoroughly test out EVs’ operational capabilities.

Research carried out in March 2020 has shown that the Nottingham ULEV Experience project has been the only solution for businesses to try out an EV for this period of time.

DriveElectric said a total of 16 vehicle dealerships were contacted in the Nottingham area to arrange an EV trial and none could offer a similar 30-day loan.

The leasing company provides the vehicles, books in the loans and offers a handover about how each of the electric cars and vans charge and work. Insurance can also be arranged.

The EV fleet includes models like the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia e-Niro, Renault Kangoo EV and Nissan e-NV200.

Mike Potter, DriveElectric managing director, said: “Most organisations need to experience electric vehicles before making a decision to purchase. 

“Fully-funded month-long EV loans are not readily available through dealerships, manufacturers or any other source. Therefore the ‘try before you buy’ EV loans provided by the ULEV Experience have been extremely valuable in filling a gap in the market not offered elsewhere.”

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is one of the organisations that tried the trial and is now operating two e-NV200s as a result. Based on the running cost data collected during the trial, DriveElectric said the Trust could swap a further 40 vans to EV.

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