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SEEN but rarely heard, Swansea Council’s growing number of electric vans are definitely going places.

The equivalent of eight times around the globe last year, in fact.

The authority now has 40 electric vehicles, which covered just over 200,000 miles in 2018-19.

While this remains a fraction of the estimated eight million miles covered annually by its 800-strong fleet, Swansea Council said it now has the highest number of electric vehicles out of Wales’ 22 authorities.

It has spent £214,994 in the past two financial years on these quiet workhorses, in answer to a Freedom of Information request by the Local Democracy Reporter Service.

Carmarthenshire Council, meanwhile, has six electric vehicles which covered 17,425 miles in 2018-19. There were no purchasing or leasing costs over the last two years. The rural authority’s total fleet mileage per year is five million.

Transport chiefs in Swansea said they will consider biofuel and hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles as part of their green fleet policy.

They said route planning software was also used to reduce fuel consumption.

Electric vehicles are likely to become more mainstream everywhere, benefiting air quality but requiring a significant rise in low-carbon electricty production to underwrite their green credentials.

Speaking in January, Councillor Andrea Lewis, cabinet member for homes and energy, said: “Following the approval of our green fleet policy we will be looking at infrastructure for publicly accessible charging points.”

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