Letter to Editor: HTS and their new replacement vehicles
General / Thu 11th May 2023 at 06:55am
THIS Thursday’s (May 11) Harlow Council Shareholder Sub-Committee will discuss a proposal for HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd to purchase 74 vehicles this year at a cost of almost £2.1 million to replace part of their leased fleet, but with very few electric vehicles.
The purchase of three different numbers of electric vehicles were being considered – 10, 22 & 33 – but incredibly the lowest number of 10 is being recommended. So much for the environment and our air quality. The cost of 10 electric vehicles is £241,429 and is a premium of £68,000 over the cost of diesel vehicles.
Apart from the extra cost, the justification for fewer electric vehicles is the current infrastructure. The public reports pack to the meeting explains:
“The current infrastructure and its output at Mead Park are under review and with the lack of viable charging points around the Town, and the lack of ability to park at home due to lack of parking spaces, HTS is recommending the procurement of 10No. electric vehicles.”
The reports pack explains that the likely lifespan of these newly purchased vehicles will be 15 years, so our residents in our town will have 23 more diesel engined vehicles on the roads for 15 years. Of further concern is that the HTS fleet contains 5 vehicles of between 18 and 20 years old. The reports pack makes it clear that the Kier outsourcing years resulted in a “lack of investment in front line vehicles.”
Harlow Council and HTS appear to talk a good job on the environment, but don’t put our money where their mouth is.
2. Number of electric vehicles see page 8 of reports pack at:
3. Vehicle lifespan of 15 years: see paragraph 8 on page 7 of reports pack as in URL above.
4. Kier lack of investment: see page 6 of reports pack.
It seems entirely practical to only procure 10 electric vehicles due to the availability of charging stations. Arguably of more concern would be employees not turning up to jobs because their vehicles were not charged. I suppose an alternative approach might be to procure fewer vehicles as a whole so that more electric vehicles could be procured at a later date as charging infrastructure improves.
Or they have worked out electric vehicles are worse for the environment. They are too heavy so require a lot more energy to move and you cannot recycle the batteries commercially which are are made from toxic materials and mined with slave labour. Eventually electric vehicles will make sense, but not at the moment. Best to let the rich buy them to cover the cost of development until one day they do make sense. Hybrids are better for the environment at the moment so it would be of interest to know if they bought any hybrids
If they had done their homework they'd see that the best bet is to buy diesel vehicles with replacement engines from JCB: these run on hydrogen are backed by a decades of experience and research. These engines are in production and thoroughly proven out perform both diesel and electric. The vehicles are comparatively light when compared with electric vehicles, much the same weight as the diesels they replace and a similar price. Also, they are ideally suited for commercial work with long day works cycles, fast refueling and the fact that they run out of a depot makes hydrogen refueling easy.