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Meals on wheels to go electric

Meals on wheels to go electric

Meals will be delivered by electric powered wheels to residents across the city as the council continues to drive down its carbon footprint.

12 November 2021

Bristol’s meals on wheels team has agreed a deal that will see electric vehicles replace older diesel vans on the daily rounds. The service provides over 100,000 lunchtime meals a year and the drivers also check in on vulnerable residents to ensure they have what they need. 

Councillor Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Integrated Care System, said: “We are delighted to welcome these new vehicles into our fleet to continue the service’s vital work of supporting vulnerable residents, safe in the knowledge they’re also doing their bit for the climate. Tackling the twin challenges of climate and ecological emergencies means everyone playing their part which is why services across the council are scrutinising every aspect of their work to find ways in which they can reduce their carbon footprint.

“For several years we have wanted to upgrade to electric vans but until relatively recently the technology had not been available to be confident in what was out there. We know that battery life is a key factor in switching to electric vehicles, but in the case of these vans, the battery also needs to power ovens to keep meals warm, and a refrigeration unit to keep cold and frozen foods fresh.

“I applaud the efforts of the Community Meals team and colleagues in Fleet Services for their work to identify the technology and negotiate the necessary deal to ensure these specialist efficient vehicles are also equipped with ovens powered by electricity for the first time.”

The new vehicles will cover routes across Central Bristol and will join the Community Meals service fleet in the coming few weeks.

As charging infrastructure improves, the number of electric vehicles delivering community meals will increase. The new meals on wheels fleet will give a considerable saving in nitrogen oxide emissions, a contributor to air pollution from the burning of fuels in vehicle engines, and therefore help improve air quality within our city.

Councillor Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy, said: “The introduction of these new electric vehicles is another step for the council to meet its climate commitments and follows our recent decisions to expand our heat networks, retrofit homes with energy and heat saving measures and investing in renewable energy supplies. As well as working in partnership with others in the city we are looking internally across our organisations to identify the measures we need to take that will contribute towards developing a carbon neutral, climate resilient Bristol by 2030.”

To find out more about Bristol Community Meals and arrange a hot meal delivery for you or someone you know, visit Bristol Community Meals webpage, call 0117 903 1520 or 0117 903 1522 Monday to Sunday 9am to 3pm, or email community.meals@bristol.gov.uk

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