Government policy on electric vans is short-sighted and in a mess, according to the commercial vehicle division of the National Franchised Dealers Association.
Last week, NFDA’s Commercial Vehicle division wrote to the Department of Transport highlighting key regulatory issues that are holding back the Electric Van market.
Since 2018 the government have been aware of the need for a smooth transition to zero emissions light commercials by incorporating payload allowances for the weight of electric vans.
However, ever since then the supporting legislation has been muddled, with tachographs needed on electric vans that travel over 62 miles from base, some driving licence holders needing Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training courses and these vehicles being treated as HGV’s due to their heavier battery weight, which then requires annual ministry testing.
These policy intricacies are contributing to the sluggish adoption of new electric vans, with registrations accounting for a mere 5.2% of the market. This statistic is concerning, particularly as the government is poised to impose fines on LCV manufacturers beginning in 2024 for failing to reach the mandated 10% benchmark in EV light commercial sales and 19% in 2025.
NFDA CV has consistently called for a revision of these ZEV mandate targets, not compromising the end targets, but a softer transition in the earlier years. As this critical deadline looms, it is imperative to address these discrepancies to effectively transition light commercial vehicles to zero-emission alternatives.
While the shift to electric commercial vehicles is progressing, the uncertainty surrounding the regulatory framework for 4.25-ton electric vans hampers their growth potential.
Steve Latham, Head of NFDA’s Commercial Vehicle division concluded, “The NFDA remains committed to advocating for an environment where regulations surrounding 4.25-ton electric vans are well-defined, fostering a conducive ecosystem for innovation, growth, and environmental responsibility.”
The development comes as some fleet dealers were advertising 42% off the list price of electric vans they are struggling to sell because of the restrictions and the reluctance of operators to give up their diesel powered vans while the national recharging network is limited and challenging their abilities to meet delivery times and jobs.