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Case Study – Powering Up East Devon Council’s Street-Cleaning Fleet

East Devon District Council Streetscene team required reliable EV infrastructure to ensure its new electric fleet is powered up and ready to keep East Devon clean.

east devon council fleet

Client: East Devon District Council

Geographical area: South West England

The Background

East Devon District Council is working to reduce its carbon emissions year on year, with the aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2040.

The Streetscene team at the Council has the largest fleet of electric vans which are used daily to keep East Devon’s streets, parks and public areas clean.

In 2020, East Devon became one of the first councils in the country to trial specially-modified electric vans in its street-cleaning fleet, complete with a custom-made caged tipping body. To power this transition to greener cleaning, East Devon District Council worked with Mer (formerly Elmtronics) to install charge points for the new Nissan e-NV200s, which now make up 25% of their fleet.

“A couple of factors made us choose Mer (formerly Elmtronics) to power our new vehicles. We needed good charging capabilities that were future-proofed, with the ability to expand as we grow our electric fleet. And it was also important to us to have a back office system that gave us analytics across our depots, and they could support us with all of this.”

Nick Cristo, Operations Manager at East Devon District Council

The Solution

East Devon’s new electric vehicles now charge overnight from four dual smart charge points at depots in Exmouth and Sidmouth, before heading out each day. Load balancing technology divides the available power between the vehicles, with a back office software solution providing data on usage.

“Our next step is to use the data from the back office to look at our vehicle usage and how much carbon we have offset by going electric. It will also help us to plan to expand our electric fleet even more. The process has been very straightforward and there’s always been support at the end of the phone when we’ve needed it.”

Nick CristoOperations Manager at East Devon District Council

Upgraded charge points have also been installed at East Devon Council’s head office in Honiton for staff and visitors, helping other teams across the council to make the move to electric vehicles as well.

“Having worked in the commercial vehicle fleet sector for a long time, it was inspiring to witness this innovative adaptation to an already popular EV. The team at East Devon Council made sure there was a vehicle fit for purpose, accelerating their fleet transition and keeping them on track  to meet their objectives. I was delighted to work with such a forward-thinking team, and can’t wait to see other councils following suit.””

Natasha Fry, Mer UK, Head of Strategic Accounts – fleet and workplace charging

Elmtronics became part of the Mer group from April 2022. The move will further strengthen Mer UK’s offering in the UK to provide workplace, fleet, public and home charging solutions.

Mer’s mission is to make sustainable electric mobility easy and accessible to everyone.

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