PROPOSALS are set to be backed to prioritise the purchase of electric council vehicles in the New Forest in a cost-saving approach.

Members of New Forest District Council’s environment overview and scrutiny panel have been recommended to support plans to replace two car park warden vehicles with electric counterparts.

They have also been asked to back the purchase of two further vehicles for testing with different council services and for a policy to be made to prioritise electric vehicles unless it impractical.

Research carried out on behalf of the local authority by the Energy Saving Trust found replacing 12 of the existing fleet with electric vehicles would save between £32,000 and £39,000, based over an economic life of 6 years.

A report to Thursday's scrutiny panel meeting says: "This technology is rapidly improving and the battery range is increasing, and the range of vehicles on the market is expanding.

" These changes could create further savings in weight and range in future years."

It added: "Whilst they have a higher initial purchase price, the purchase of trial of 2 electric vehicles is estimated to save between £5,300 and £6,500 over the life of the vehicles."