Healthy start for electric cars

Warwickshire County Council as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership is investigating ways by which a more sustainable transport infrastructure might be introduced into the more rural areas of the County. One solution could be electric vehicles (EVs) – particularly where short journeys are the norm, and where there could be an element of community usage. There is little evidence or data relating to the potential use of EVs in rural areas.

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The Warwickshire General Practitioner Electric Vehicle (GPEV) Project is a pilot scheme to establish and monitor a small network of EVs and charging points located at GP surgeries and health care centres across rural Warwickshire. Health centres are at the hub of rural and market town communities, using short vehicle journeys for home visits, prescription deliveries and other health services. They provide a focal point for information and are trusted organisations in the community. They are also businesses and therefore have to make decisions based upon sound economic as well as social and environmental factors.

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Three health centres across Warwickshire are taking part in this pilot programme as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Electric vehicles are being used for home visits, prescription deliveries and on-call activities. Peugeot UK are providing participating GP practices with subsidised contract hire and the necessary charge point infrastructure has been funded by British Gas. Coventry University is carrying out an assessment of user practice and public perception, collecting and reporting technical and performance data during the 18-month project period. Project management of the trial and EV feasibility reviews are provided by Warwickshire-based low carbon consultants Greenwatt Technology. Visit www.evs4gps.org.uk for more information or contact the Project Manager, Mike Woollacott,  Tel: 01789 761367