Council leads the charge against air pollution with fleet of electric cars

Electric car

Drive against air pollution: Council workers can use the new cars on their trips around Hackney. Photograph: Hackney Council

Hackney Council is to lead the charge against air pollution with its new fleet of electric cars and bicycles.

The council has been awarded financial assistance from the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund, which it is using to help fund 50 electric cars and 30 push bikes.

The car and bikes are for council workers, who are usually encouraged to cycle when travelling around the borough to carry out site inspections, repairs and maintenance.

On the occasions when a car is needed, they will now be able to use an electric one.

In June, a report emerged showing that air pollution levels at 27 Hackney primary schools breached EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

The vehicles bought with the £381,700 award will reduce NO2 by almost 0.6 tonnes every year by March 2019.

Emissions of dust, soot and smoke will be reduced by about 50kg.

Councillor Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Sustainability, said: “We want to do our part to help tackle poor air quality and build the greenest fleet in London and the UK.

“By sharing our experiences with local authorities across London and the UK we hope other councils will follow suit.”

In May last year, electric vehicle charging bays were handed over to a private contractor after Hackney Council reported a “high level of outage and failures” at its 16 charging points.