Green enthusiasm needs government support

Tunbridge Wells, UK: Logistics operators are among the first to identify the benefits of switching to electric vehicles, says the Freight Transport Association.

The association cites as evidence the fact that nine out of ten operators who are already using electric vehicles plan to expand their fleets within the next three years.

However, according to a new report from FTA, released today (15 January 2020), further expansion will require the government to urgently address the limitations which prevent wider adoption across the UK’s fleet.

Denise Beedell, policy amnager for vans and urban, FTA, says: “While the report shows there is incredible determination to create positive change across the logistics industry, it also identifies significant barriers that remain, preventing further uptake. FTA – the business organisation representing the sector – is calling on government to address these issues which include grid capacity constraints as well as limited vehicle types and vehicle availability, if the roll out of the UK’s EV fleet is to continue.

“The report outlines fleet operators’ frustrations with the limited vehicle-types available: 71% of respondents who decided against purchasing EVs cited this as the primary reason. For a number of years, FTA has urged manufacturers to progress the development of heavier EVs over 3.5 tonnes, as well as models such as tippers and pickups, and would like to see more definitive timelines from manufacturers as to when such vehicles will be available.

“In the meantime, FTA is asking government to recognise these limitations when implementing local and national policies on vehicle access,” Beedell says.

“Operators also view grid capacity as a severe limitation to the ongoing shift to EVs; we believe they must not be expected to incur the cost of upgrading the electricity infrastructure. While businesses within the logistics industry are keen to play their part in reducing carbon emissions, the government must find a fairer way of funding the necessary grid upgrades, as well as ensuring on-street public charging facilities can be used by commercial EV operators, not just private cars,” Beedell says.

FTA’s survey was conducted across a range of fleet operators from small, local businesses to large, international fleets.

The guide can be accessed at: fta.co.uk/evreport
 

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