Electric vehicles drive to victory

Edinburgh College’s fleet of electric vehicles is powering up for success after winning a top green award.

The Edinburgh College electric vehicle administrator Bob Murphy won the Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year award, which honours innovation and commitment to carbon reduction among fleet managers.

Bob’s Award on the table at the Awards dinner.

Bob is a former student at the college and completed a City & Guilds Level 2 Automotive course as part of a change in career path from sales and management, before being employed by the college to oversee and develop the electric vehicle project.

He said: “I was surprised and honoured to find out that I had been personally nominated for the Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year Award. We have been making great strides with the electric vehicle fleet thanks to the support of staff and partners including SEStran, Energy Savings Trust, Automotive Leasing, and Alex F. Noble & Sons Nissan. The vehicles are well-used and well-liked by staff and are making a significant contribution to the college’s sustainability aims.”

The college electric vehicle fleet includes ten cars and a minibus. Staff use the cars to travel between the college’s four campuses, leading to a significant saving on fuel costs and carbon emissions. Since the launch of Edinburgh College’s fleet in October 2012, over 86,000 miles have been travelled in the electric cars representing a reduction in mileage expenses of around £39,000. More than a third of college staff are registered to use the cars and usage of the cars has tripled since the first year of service.

The college is also carrying out research into electric vehicle travel, looking at how effective they are in cutting carbon emissions and their long-term viability as alternative transport. This research is a partnership with Edinburgh Napier University.

Engineering students use data gathered on usage, performance and cost effectiveness as part of their curriculum. The college also offers two annual scholarships for engineering students to learn more about electric vehicles, thanks to support from Alex F Noble & Sons.

The GreenFleet Awards are organised by GreenFleet, a publication dedicated to promoting a cleaner environment. The awards shine a light on fleet managers, suppliers, organisations and manufacturers working to minimise the environmental impact of fleets and support low-carbon motoring. The Awards Ceremony will take place in Birmingham tonight. The awards take place at Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham on 22 October.