Swindon Borough Council got to grips with some new transport this week, as they tried out an electric van which has been loaned to them by Nissan.

The Nissan E-NV200 electric demo vehicle is on a one-month trial at the council, who are taking the opportunity to assess whether electric technology could be used to power their fleet of vehicles in the future.

“I am very impressed by the new vehicle,” said leader of the council, Councillor David Renard. “It is light on the controls and nippy, and definitely represents the future.

“Anything that potentially improves the service we provide to Swindon’s residents and reduces costs is an advantage. I look forward to hearing how the trial goes.”

At present, SBC operate approximately 350 vehicles, supporting a wide range of public services. Around half of the 150 vans they have are used by the property maintenance and repairs teams.

As part of an on-going review of the of the council’s vehicles, they are looking into the feasibility of bringing in alternatively fuelled vehicles – with a particular interest in electric-powered.

This month’s trial is courtesy of Nissan, who have loaned the vehicle free-of-charge. It will be used by the council’s housing repairs team.

Sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles – most of which are electric cars – have continued to grow over recent months, and at the start of this year represented 4.2% of all new car registrations in the UK.