Small businesses in Brixton are being given the chance to use an electric van as part of a new sharing scheme.

The Clean Air Villages programme has placed a Renault Kangoo Maxi ZE, provided by car sharing firm Zipcar UK, in the district.

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

Funding for the project, which is initially running for a 12 month trial period, has come from Lambeth Council and Defra, while Brixton BID (Business Improvement District) is said to have played a key role in bringing local businesses on board.

The electric van sharing scheme is believed by the organisers to be the first of its kind in the UK.

Susannah Wilks, director of Cross River Partnership, which runs Clean Air Villages, 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.”