Care team turning over new Leaf to slash its petrol costs
A care firm which looks after people in their own homes in rural areas of Lincolnshire has invested in an electric car in a bid to cut costs.
Local care firm FocusAbility has bought an electric Nissan Leaf, which cost £21,000.
But the firm believes other businesses won't follow suit until rural Lincolnshire gets more public charging points.
FocusAbility visits its disabled or elderly clients in so-called 'red spots', which are places many other private care providers do not cover because they are so rural.
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Rachael Wood-Raw, one of its two co-directors, believes the car will cut costs, allowing the firm to cut their fees to clients.
Previously, the company spent £300 a month on fuel.
"We want to promote people's independence and help them get about, hence needing this car," she said.
"Some people are in very rural areas who can't get a care package at the right price – hopefully us going eco-friendly will help."
Ms Wood-Raw said the firm, which currently runs four vehicles including the new car, would like to make its entire fleet electric.
"Once we get into the routine and get them on board we can reduce mileage charges to the people we support and to staff as well," she said.
"It will reduce our costs that way dramatically and the eco side of things is much better for the environment.
"As we get bigger it makes sense to get more of these cars."
She added: "We can pay all this petrol out or get an eco-friendly car and charge it up.
"You are saving so much on fuel it is phenomenal, when we looked at costings we had to go that way."
However, Ms Wood-Raw admits she is worried she will get stranded with very little charging points currently in Lincolnshire.
"The first one will be our major test," she said.
"If I find myself stranded in Lincoln we might not do it again."
Co-director Trevor Wood believes other businesses won't go electric unless the county has more charging points installed.
"There aren't enough chargers in the area," he said.
"We are trying to do our bit.
"If the local authority is serious about wanting people to use less petrol, they have to get on with putting the infrastructure there."
The firm's electric car will come into use today, helping to transport the elderly and disabled or provide home visits.