A shared electric van is being made available free of charge to small businesses in Brixton, London, for a 12-month trial period.

Designed to encourage small businesses to scrap highly polluting vans and use a greener, cleaner, electric transport option, the scheme also aims to reduce the number of vans on the road, reduce parking demand and ensure local businesses can continue operating in the current and expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone.

“I’m proud that right here in the heart of Brixton we have got London’s first electric van solely for the use of local businesses,” said Cllr Claire Holland, Deputy Leader of Lambeth Council and Cabinet Lead for Environment and Clean Air. “We are determined to help Lambeth’s local businesses transition to low-carbon ways of working and electric vehicles and cargo bikes are the way forward.”

The shared van scheme is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, and is the result of a joint collaboration between Lambeth Council, Brixton BID, Zipcar for Business and Cross River Partnership’s Clean Air Villages Programme. The project is funded by Lambeth Council and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).