A Northumbria NHS Trust has taken delivery of its 13th Nissan E-NV200 this year, having found the switch to electric-powered vans the ideal choice for the short, community-based journeys they operate on.

The vehicle was supplied by Lex Autolease and was the rental firm’s 2,000th plug-in electric vehicle on its fleet.

Michael Taylor, Trustwide hotel services officer at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Trust wanted a cost-effective transport method to replace their fleet of ageing diesel vans and reduce carbon emissions. We undertook a significant amount of research into how we used vehicles across our facilities, and a move to electric vehicles proved the ideal solution.”

He added that the vehicles will primarily be used to transport goods between the four main sites of the Trust and community locations, with considerable efficiency savings already reported.

Chris Chandler, principal consultant at Lex Autolease, said: “For organisations such as Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, a move to electric vehicles can result in considerable efficiency savings and environmental benefits as their drive cycles are perfect for pure electric technology.”

Lex Autolease is responsible for around 7% of plug-in electric vehicles on UK roads, which it believes to be the largest fleet of its kind in the country. Electric commercial vehicles on the fleet comprise 75 Renault Kangoos and 37 Nissan Env200s.

The leasing firm anticipates significant growth in alternative-fuel registrations as more businesses and organisations become aware of the benefits.