Bradford Council workers have been driving around the city in an electric car as the trial of a Nissan Leaf vehicle got under way yesterday.

The car, which costs about £26,000, produces zero emissions, creates little noise and is made from recycled materials.

It is on loan at the authority until tomorrow so that staff can test whether it will be of use to them.

The trial is just one of a number of measures that the Council and its environmental team are looking at to try and help cut emissions and air pollution levels in the district and fuel costs for the authority.

Kate Stanley, environmental awareness officer, at the environment and climate change unit, said the car was being used by community care staff visiting vulnerable people in their homes and the mail room staff who deliver between Council offices.

The Council has 885 vehicles from cars to bin lorries which are used to provide its services. Last year the emissions from these vehicles totalled 7,324 tonnes of CO2.

In addition, travel tip cards are being distributed to Council drivers encouraging them to save fuel and the environment by avoiding short journeys, sticking to the speed limits, checking their revs and driving smoothly.

James Brass, environment officer at the Council, who has led on the Nissan Leaf trial, said about a fifth of the Council’s overall carbon emissions were down to its vehicles and that the introduction of electric cars into its fleet could go a long way to reducing this impact.

“The electric vehicle is fantastic because it has so many other environmental positives in terms of noise and air quality,” he said. “There are no emissions coming from the tailpipe. It takes eight to nine hours to charge on a domestic supply and will go for 100 miles.”

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