A Scottish charity providing food access to older people has moved into new areas with the help of zero-emission vans from Renault.
The Food Train charity provides a grocery shopping, befriending and household support service covering a number of areas in Scotland and has now expanded its coverage to Clackmannanshire and East Renfrewshire with the help of the Master Z.E. and Kangoo Maxi Z.E. vans.
They’re the charity’s first electric vehicles and have been funded through SP Energy Networks Green Economy Fund, which is administered by the Energy Saving Trust. The fund aims to help local communities benefit from low carbon technology and support the Scottish Government’s energy strategy.
The six short-wheelbase Master Z.E. and three Kangoo Maxi Z.E. vans replace existing diesel vans and were chosen based on their availability and the load space compared to electric rivals.
The Master Z.E. and Kangoo Maxi Z.E.’s respective WLTP ranges of 75 and 143 miles are more than fine for coping with the charity’s usual rounds. To add extra reassurance and enable the charity to reach older people in more remote areas of Stirling, one of the Kangoo Maxi Z.E. vans has been specified with an optional heat pump that heat or cools down the vehicle without impact on driving range.
The charity said the vans not only enable it operate in a more environmentally friendly, but also make sense operationally.
Michelle Carruthers, CEO of the Food Train, explained: “They take the constant stopping and starting during our rounds in their stride and the Masters swallow the delivery boxes with room to spare, while the Kangoo has more than enough space for a full delivery.
“For most of our volunteers, most of whom are retired, the Renault Z.E. vans are their first experience of driving and charging an electric vehicle. Some were a little wary at first, but feedback has been great, and they really enjoy the relaxed drive and comfort, with some also going so far as to explore the benefits of the regenerative braking system,” she added.