Compaid receives first electric minibus in Kent

Compaid has received a new electric minibus, the first of its kind in the county, through a partnership with Kent County Council and Renault Trucks.

The 100% electric Renault Master Z.E. is the first pilot vehicle in Kent County Council’s sustainable transport approach to assess the longer term financial and environmental benefits of electromobility. The Master Z.E. will be put through its paces on Compaid’s community transport operation, taking disabled and vulnerable people from Tunbridge Wells and surrounding areas to the charity’s training centre in Paddock Wood to learn computer skills. Compaid will also use the vehicle to help local disadvantaged people to access medical appointments and shopping trips.

Compaid Chief Executive Stephen Elsden and Kent County Council member Michael Payne at the electric bus launch.

Kent County Council cabinet member for transport, Mike Whiting said: “It’s fantastic that we have been able to secure this partnership with Renault Trucks in trialling a fully accessible Renault Master minibus.This trial will help us prove the ability of electric vehicles not only for public transport provision, but also for other commercial operations.”

Stephen Elsden, Chief Executive at Compaid, added: “As a provider of community transport services, electromobility is a key part of our sustainable transport solution which is now in reach as the cost of electric vehicles falls and battery range improves, and we are delighted to be the first organisation in Kent to put it to the test with the Renault Trucks Master Z.E. minibus. We operate door to door, stop-start – it’s the kind of work that will drain a poor battery fast, so the Master Z.E.’s proven real world range is fit for the job in hand.  Following what we expect to be a highly successful trial, we hope to bring in more electric vehicles as we update our fleet.”