On Friday 14 September Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, attended the launch of Oxfordshire’s first Electric Vehicle Business Network (EVBN).

The event, which saw the launch of Oxford Office Furniture’s first fully electric delivery fleet, also represented the introduction of EVBN, a network conceived to bring together both current and potential electric vehicle users and operators to share their experiences and encourage more businesses to make the change to electric vehicles.

The day also unveiled a pool car service initiative for use by SMEs operating from Telford Road. The shared used service is expected to greatly reduce the number of cars on the road for commercial purposes, without impacting the availability of vehicles when required.

Speaking after the event, Victoria said:

“The launch of the Electric Vehicle Business Network marks a really exciting time for local businesses to work together in making their companies more environmentally friendly. I am so pleased that steps are being taken within my constituency to reduce the impact of emissions caused by vehicles, particularly those used for commercial delivery. Planning for a sustainable future is so important and I really hope the EVBN encourages other local businesses to get on board and make the change.”

Dave Beesley, Managing Director of Oxford Office Furniture Ltd, added:

“We’re so excited to be involved in this growing and developing EV ecosystem – I was previously an Electric Mini Pioneer, am now a Tesla Model X owner, and we’re about to become the first furniture delivery company in Oxfordshire with a dedicated EV delivery fleet. It’s a no-brainer for us – all the numbers add up, and it’s going to give us a fantastic competitive advantage in the future with plans for the Oxford City Zero Emissions Zone, as well as environmental targets for several our key clients”

Martin Garratt, Executive Director at Oxfordshire Greentech, comments that:

“We are delighted to be able to support the development of electric vehicle projects in the County as Oxfordshire Greentech will develop into an organisation which aims to be the natural home for all sustainability related topics and projects, which have a positive impact on climate change. Our door is open to work with partners in a range of sectors from low carbon vehicles, to the built environment and social enterprise and we are always keen to work with champions who wish to deliver on the ground”

Councillor David Hughes, Vice Chairman of Cherwell District Council, said:

“The launch of this event is something that is close to my heart in owning an electric vehicle, which is a joy to drive and very economical to run. The launch is particularly timely as Bicester will shortly become the focus of a UK Space Agency Funded Air Quality Project which will provide an opportunity to highlight the links between transport and air quality. Electric and shared use vehicles represent an important part of the strategy to address the impacts of future transport use.”