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The Lincolnshire-based Larkfleet Group (www.larkfleetgroup.co.uk) – which includes companies involved with house building, building supplies and renewable energy – is testing an electric car with a view to adding more electric vehicles to its fleet.
The group has already installed electric vehicle charging points outside its offices in Bourne and Market Deeping. It has also installed a charging point at Leighfield Park in Oakham which is being developed by group company Larkfleet Homes (www.larkfleethomes.co.uk) as well as supplying and installing public charging points for other organisations – most recently installing one in a car park in Oakham for Oakham Town Council.
Ian Greenfield, director of Larkfleet Group company Eco Building Products (www.eco-building-products.co.uk) which has installed most of these points, said:
“The network of charging points for electric vehicles is expanding all the time. It has now reached the stage where users can be almost as confident of finding a charging point when they need one as readily as drivers of petrol-fuelled vehicles can be sure of finding a filling station.
“Analysis of our vehicle use at Larkfleet Group suggests that we could replace many of our current vehicles with electric cars, significantly reducing the environmental impact of our travel. So we decided the time had come to undertake a detailed experiment to put that analysis to the test.”
The group has acquired a Renault Zoe vehicle on loan from Renault to use over the next few weeks. It will then be in a position to decide on its future vehicle policy.
It has already committed to purchasing an electric van from Renault to undertake local deliveries.
The four-seater Zoe has a range when fully charged of up to 120 miles and can be recharged in as little as 30 minutes.
Ian Greenfield said: “Larkfleet is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its own operations whilst also, through the products and services we provide, allowing our customers to do the same.
“In everything we do – from fitting high levels of insulation in houses built by Larkfleet Homes to the large-scale development of solar electricity PV parks by Lark Energy – our group companies are focused on delivering both environmental and economic benefits for our customers.”
Eco Building Products installs Chargemaster electric vehicle charging points and is often able to secure government grants to cover a large part of the cost.
Ian Greenfield added: “We are keen to deliver installations for developers and commercial property including golf courses, country clubs and hotel car parks throughout East Anglia and the East Midlands. Pubs, clubs and other places which install these charging points will attract customers who can charge their vehicles while using the facilities.
“By increasing the number of charging points in the network we will be helping to promote the use of electric vehicles in the region.”