London's first shared E-Van London's first shared E-Van

London’s first shared E-Van business scheme to launch in Brixton

London’s first shared electric van business scheme to launch in Brixton

Brixton’s small business community is invited to enjoy the free use of a shared electric van as part of partnership initiative that aims to tackle the area’s high pollution levels

Participating small businesses in Brixton, including street and market traders based locally, will get the chance to utilise London’s first ever electric van sharing service, which will be available free of charge for eligible businesses from Monday 2nd December 2019.

Cross River Partnership’s award winning Clean Air Villages programme aims to encourage small businesses based locally in Brixton to start sharing a greener and cleaner electric van with other local businesses, all completely free of charge. Here are just some of the reasons why this is good for the area:

- Encourages businesses based locally to scrap their highly polluting vans

- Reduces number of vans on the roads generally, helping to tackle the area’s high congestion and pollution levels

- Reduces parking demand in the area

- Ensures local businesses can continue to operate in the current and expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

The EV shared van scheme is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, and is the result of a joint collaboration between Lambeth Council, Brixton BID, Zipcar for Business and Cross River Partnership’s Clean Air Villages Programme.  The project is funded by Lambeth Council and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The EV van will be located near Brixton’s Electric Avenue, a nod to both the street’s many market traders and its electric heritage, having been the first market street in London to be lit by electric lights back in the 1880s. However, evolutions in transport and technology have also brought major environmental challenges to the area, and nearby Brixton Road is now considered to be one of London’s most polluted streets.


How the initiative is being enabled and funded

This truly collaborative project sees DEFRA funding the overall scheme through Cross River Partnership’s Clean Air Villages Programme, Lambeth Council funding the van itself, which is provided and run through Zipcar for Business, and Brixton BID playing a key role in bringing Brixton businesses on board.

Cllr Claire Holland, Deputy Leader of Lambeth Council and cabinet lead for the Environment and Clean Air, said: “I’m proud that right here in the heart of Brixton we have got London’s first electric van solely for the use of local businesses. We are determined to help Lambeth’s local businesses transition to low-carbon ways of working and electric vehicles and cargo bikes are the way forward.  We all need to play our own role in tackling the climate crisis and by choosing to use electric vehicles, small businesses in Lambeth are leading from the front.”

Susannah Wilks, Director of Cross River Partnership, said:  “We are delighted to be launching a shared electric vehicle for businesses in Brixton. It is a first for London, and we are sure it won’t be the last! It has been an exciting journey working with our partners and collaborators to bring this initiative to life and we look forward to talking with users about their experiences, in turn supporting long term positive change.  We strongly believe in the need for improved air quality in London. We’re not there yet, and we all have a part to play. We look forward to delivering future air quality improvement projects as part of our Clean Air Villages, Clean Air Thames, and Healthy Streets Everyday programmes, to make London the best possible place it can be.”

Zipcar UK General Manager James Taylor said: “We are very proud to be the chosen partner for this exciting initiative. We believe that the future is electric - that’s why at Zipcar we have a vision to be fully electric in the UK by 2025. However, we cannot hope to achieve this ambition alone, and it’s only by coming together with other businesses and organisations that we can proactively tackle London’s pollution crisis and help make it the greener and cleaner city we all want and need it to be.”

Hammant Patel Villa, Director, Director - Courtesan Restaurant in Brixton said: "We are very pleased to be among the first Brixton businesses to benefit from this new shared electric van scheme. We believe it will allow us to significantly reduce our emissions, which is an important consideration for any London based business today. We're prepared to implement a slightly more rigorous schedule when it comes to our deliveries and collections with the shared van, in return for benefits around the reduced hassle and cost of owning a van, plus the knowledge that we are working together with our local business community to make Brixton a cleaner place to live, work and play."

Michael Smith, Managing Director, Brixton BID said:  "With this electric van from Zipcar now available for business use in Brixton, local businesses can now actively address clean air and carbon footprint issues whilst making savings. The Brixton BID is committed to the roll out of this partnership with Zipcar, Cross River Partnership, and Lambeth Council extending this electric van service to as many Brixton businesses as possible."

For more information and details of how to sign up please visit

For more information please contact: Zipcar UK Press Office, and Cross River Partnership Press Office Joshua West, [email protected] 07966 201695




How Brixton businesses can sign up

Any small business based locally in Brixton can apply by completing a Hire Agreement with Cross River Partnership and via  They must meet Zipcar’s usual eligibility criteria

The scheme will be live from Monday 2nd December at 10am TBC and will run for an initial 12 month trial period

How it will work

The 100% electric Renault EV Kangoo Maxi ZE van will be stationed on Pulross Road in Brixton

Once signed up and approved for the scheme, businesses can book the van using the free Zipcar app, and access and drive it free of charge for short business trips in and around Lambeth

Participating businesses will be responsible for charging the vehicle when needed at the charging point installed on Pulross Road, where it will be stationed

How this initiative was enabled and funded:

Cross River Partnership, Clean Air Villages Programme & DEFRA

Cross River Partnership manages the Clean Air Villages Programme, aims to enable and support businesses to reduce emissions from deliveries of goods and services whilst saving them time and money.  The project currently works across seven London boroughs -  Lewisham, Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council. There are 13 ‘villages’ in total spread across the boroughs and identified hotspots of poor air quality. DEFRA funds Clean Air Villages through the ‘DEFRA Air Quality Grant Scheme, and is funding this overall programme.


Lambeth Council
Providing funding for the electric van itself.

Brixton Business Improvement District (BID)
Instrumental in bringing local Brixton businesses on board.

Zipcar for Business
Providing and maintaining the electric van and providing the technology to access and book the van.


Business case study quotes

Flora Gordon, Operations Manager at Urban Growth: “We are excited about this Cross River Partnership scheme as it fits in with our ethos as an organisation. In our mission to improve the wellbeing of Londoners by greening the city, we are always looking for more sustainable ways of working. The use of a shared electric vehicle that helps to lower air pollution is definitely part of that vision!”


Award winning programme

CRP Win at the 2019 Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Excellence Awards

CRP won Best Collaboration for its DEFRA-funded Clean Air Villages (CAV1) programme at the CIEH Excellence Awards 2019.   The best collaboration category was awarded the most innovative, engaged and successful partnership scheme that demonstrated successful influence and impact on public protection.  The project was delivered in partnership with London Boroughs of Lambeth (lead authority), Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Lewisham and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and DEFRA. Click here to read more about the award and the judges’ comments on the project. CRP is currently working on CAV2 that builds on the success of this award-winning project.