Fleet Forum and Nissan have announced the launch of the Electric Vehicle Demonstrator Programme which provides free use of the new Nissan Leaf all-electric car to five organisational members of Fleet Forum.

Among over 50 members of Fleet Forum, five international aid organisations were selected as official participants and will start in Switzerland, Italy and UK. These organisations are the United Nations World Food Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees, Islamic Relief, and the United Nations Logistics Base.

The programme aims to give aid and development organisations first-hand experience of the benefits of using electric vehicles as a way of improving efficiency while also reducing costs and minimising environmental impacts.

Paul Jansen, Executive Director of Fleet Forum said: "Through this programme these different organisations can see for themselves how electric vehicles can be used to help achieve their objectives. From a Fleet Forum point-of-view we're happy to facilitate this as a way of increasing efficiency and reducing pollution."

Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Nissan and Fleet Forum, Nissan has agreed to lend five Nissan Leafs to the Fleet Forum member organisations for a year free of charge. The Fleet Forum will rotate the vehicles among official participants for six months each in order for them to experience the benefits and practicability of a zero-emission vehicle and to encourage them to switch to such vehicles for their environmental fleet management. After 12 months of free loaning, Nissan and Fleet Forum will then review feedback from the participants.

Jansen said: "The partnership with Nissan fits perfectly with Fleet Forum's commitment to offer our members practical knowledge and experience of transport-related products and services. The participating members will benefit directly, but in the end all members will benefit. Together with Nissan we will gather and analyse the test data. We will build knowledge regarding electric driving, and we can advise our members how to maximise the best use of electric vehicles. Fleet Forum promotes electric driving because this is a very constructive way of reducing the environmental impact of the operational activities of Fleet Forum members."