Reports of the ending of sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans from 2030 (brought forward from 2035) will present additional challenges for commercial vehicle operators without urgent government action to ensure the energy and charging infrastructure is ready to support the switch to electric vehicles, says Denise Beedell, Policy Manager for Vans and Urban at Logistics UK.
“With electric vehicles making up only 1% of all vans sold in the UK in 2019, bringing forward the ban on conventionally fuelled cars and vans by a further five years will cause additional difficulty for logistics businesses,” continues Beedell. “While the logistics industry remains fully committed to transitioning to zero emission vehicles, with many operators already starting this process, an industry-wide adoption of the policy will only be possible if the government takes urgent action to support the reinforcement of power supply infrastructure required to run electric fleets, as well as introducing a fairer and more equitable way of funding grid reinforcements and energy upgrades.
“Currently, if a logistics business does not have sufficient energy supply to power its electric vehicle fleet, they must pay to upgrade the entire local electricity hub themselves which can cost more than £1million. This cost is on top of the premium to buy electric vehicles which are more expensive than conventionally powered vehicles; government action is needed to reduce these expenses.
“Logistics UK is also calling for hybrid vehicles to be excluded from the ban. Hybrids offer a practical bridging technology for van operators wishing to move towards greener fleets but who are operating in areas where access to charging infrastructure or electric vehicle model availability is limited.”