Council bosses have decided to rent 330 petrol cars for £1.5 million sparking a question over why they are not using electric cars despite net zero targets.

Yesterday councillors signed off a deal for the council to lease the cars for two years for health and social care (HSCP) staff to use.

The vehicles are all to be LEZ compliant with 17 automatics and 313 manuals to be ordered.

Currently the health and social care staff have been using some vehicles, which are not LEZ compliant.

But an official confirmed they had enough LEZ compliant cars available so staff could drive in the zone when needed.

Speaking at the council’s contracts and property committee yesterday, Councillor Stephen Curran asked about the timing of the new order  – pointing out the LEZ was given as a reason but that came into force months ago.

The Labour councillor said: “The commitment to reduce emissions and net zero commitment are mentioned -yet it is all petrol operated vehicles that appear to be in this contract. And it is up to 23 weeks in terms of the delivery of the vehicles as well. They are not arriving quickly.

Why is it being presented to us today in this way?”

A council official said more work has to be done to ensure enough infrastructure to charge electric vehicles.

He said staff have been working closely with the health and social care teams to understand their needs, which has taken a lengthy time.

He said they currently use 24 electric vehicles, which are being monitored but there a number of issues including where cars are stored.

He said: “Currently we do not have the infrastructure in place at the locations required.

“Throughout this two year period we will work closely alongside HSCP to better understand that and engage with the market to further understand what is available to ensure we can meet (electric vehicle) range abilities.”

He said: “We had sufficient numbers of vehicles to enable HSCP (staff) to enter the low emission zone, ” which came into force in June.

But he admitted it would have been ideal to have the whole fleet ready and he said the delay was down to better understanding health and social care team requirements.

Currently the health and social care partnership uses 401 vehicles – 209 are hired while 192 are supplied from the council’s “aged fleet.”

The 192 vehicles are to be sold off or disposed. The 209 hired vehicles are being replaced through the new contract.

Yesterday councillors approved the award of the contract for the 330 new hire cars to ALD Automotive Limited at the committee.

The vehicles have an improved Euro 6 engine which cuts down on emissions according to a council report.

Overall Glasgow City Council has a fleet of 1,600 vehicles.

A council report said: “Concurrent with the need to replace the fleet is the need to make a fundamental step-change in vehicle emissions and to lead in the adoption of low carbon alternative fuels.

“The current fleet has an aged profile that is not ideal for the demands of changing operational requirements and needs to be replaced with modern vehicles that will comply with the Low Emission Zone which was introduced in Glasgow on June 1, 2023.”