Glasgow council spent £2 million on electric vehicles now gathering dust

Glasgow City Council has spent almost £2 million on electric vehicles which are now gathering dust.

Glasgow City Council spent £2 million on the electric vehicles.

It was revealed in October that nearly 200 electric vehicles had been found unused in a car park. The fleet of 322 vehicles could be seen with layers of dust settled on the windscreens, and Glasgow City Council confirmed at the time that 130 were in service - meaning 202 were not.

How much did Glasgow City Council spend on the electric vehicles?

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A Freedom of Information request has found that, for the 181 electric vehicles now not in service, £953k was spent on purchasing some of the vehicles, with another £1 million spent on a three-year contract hire for others.

Why were the electric vehicles not used?

The response from Glasgow City Council stated: “The new electric cars were delivered at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and as a consequence of the lockdown measures, we were unable to issue these cars to staff.

“Throughout the various stages of the Covid-19 restrictions, the Department of Transport suspended in-vehicle driver training due to social distancing requirements. As safety remains a top priority for the council it is important that council drivers are appropriately trained in the use of these alternative fuel vehicles.

“This specific restriction on training has now been lifted and a third of the vehicles are now in service. Over a thousand staff to are to be trained and the rest of the vehicles will be deployed as the training progresses.

“By further explanation we can advise that electric vehicles have different driving characteristics from ICE vehicles and whilst notionally easier, particularly not having a traditional gearbox, our insurers require that our drivers are familiar with the EV features and control.

“This is to avoid range anxiety and our employees are trained to adopt a sympathetic driving technique, to maximise the EV range.”