Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has unveiled its fleet of shiny new electric vehicles in a bid to offset its carbon footprint.

The environmentally-conscious service has taken delivery of 12 Nissan LEAF cars – distinctly liveried with the message Red Fire Engines, Green Values – which will replace some of its existing petrol cars used for home visits and to travel between stations.

Two LEAFs will be based at Chester Fire Station and two at the headquarters in Winsford , while the others will be split between Warrington and Crewe Fire Stations.

Multi-charge posts have been installed at nine stations across the county.

Low carbon aspiration

Environment, energy and engineering officer Ella Schubmehl managed the project.

She said: “Some of the vehicles used by our support staff, whether by advocates visiting households in the community or station to station or headquarter to station visits, were nearing the end of their contracts and would need replacing.

“The Energy Saving Trust carried out an in-depth survey of precisely how and where the support vehicles were used and were able to see that, with the incorporation of strategically placed charging posts, a large proportion of the fleet could comprise electric vehicles, thereby supporting our low carbon aspiration of 40% carbon reduction by 2020.”

Related: Cheshire fire choir warm up for Carnegie Hall performance

Seventy-five per cent of the total value of the vehicles is being grant-funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has provided the remaining amount over a two year period.

The charging posts have also been 75% grant-funded, with OLEV paying £26,593 against the service’s outlay of £6,648.

Cllr Tony Sherlock, Cheshire Fire Authority Environmental Champion, said: “We launched our Environment and Sustainability Strategy in 2014 to ensure we achieve 40% carbon reduction by 2020 and have been very fortunate to be included on the OLEV readiness project for the procurement of electric vehicles and the implementation of a charging infrastructure.

“With their help we have been able to reduce our carbon footprint and work towards being an increasingly environmentally friendly authority.”