Operating in the health sector poses some serious challenges, but that did not discourage DCHS from taking all the necessary measures to make plug-in vehicles integral to the operation of the organisation.
The journey to switching to plug-in vehicles for DCHS started in September 2014 when DCHS won funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to install a dual 22KWh charging point at one of their community hospital sites where they then provided a Nissan Leaf pool car .
Within the last couple of years, the Trust increased their pool fleet to 20 cars and it now includes seven plug-in hybrid vehicles and 5 [non-plug-in] hybrids. This has led to a considerable reduction in mileage claims from drivers who are now using the pool cars. Dual 22KWh fast chargers were installed on 8 additional community hospital sites and gave access to charging across Derbyshire not only for DCHS use, but also public access.
The plug-in hybrid pool vehicles are Mitsubishi Outlander (4×4) hybrids with an electric range up to 30 miles. Mark Armstrong-Read , Senior Project Manager with the Trust comments: ‘’This is ideal, as pool vehicles average about 30 miles/day so they will do the majority of this on electric. We chose the 4x4s due to their excellent size for nursing staff and trainers to carry bulky equipment and to allow home-visit patient services to continue running throughout bad Derbyshire winters. We hope to save approximately 1.5 tonnes CO2 from each vehicle’’.
As the choice of fully electric vehicles continues to increase and the range of these vehicles also increases, the trust is looking at options to move the entire pool fleet to fully electric in 2017.
Two pure electric vans (Nissan e-NV200) were added to the organisation’s Hotel Services Division fleet after receiving further OLEV funding and are used to replace Peugeot diesel vans doing about 10,000 miles per year. Replacing these diesel vans which have 177g/Km CO2 emissions with the electric vans is expected to save 2.8 tonnes CO2 each per year. The team using these vans has been so impressed with their performance and ease of use that another e-NV200 has recently been leased and a further one is to be ordered.
DCHS disseminated the benefits of plug-in vehicles by implementing some innovative projects such as a patient discharge project allowing patients to experience the benefits of plug-in vehicles as well as a number of promotional events, training sessions and public access to their car club.
The Trust also revised their lease car policy so it supports EVs and other low emission cars by offering drivers a financially lower risk lease where DCHS agrees to pick up any lease penalty charges if they decide they want to give up their low emission or electric cars after the first year.
For their great achievements the Trust has won recognition through a numbers of awards in the last 12 months, including winning a Modeshift Award and two NHS Sustainability Awards, receiving two runner-up awards in the EST Fleet Heroes Awards and being shortlisted in the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards.
- Percentage of fleet: 35%
- ULEV Models: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Nissan e-NV200
- Number of ULEVs: 10