Market traders encouraged to make switch to electric

Ford Pro is helping market traders in Electric Avenue make the switch to electric by loaning them an E-Transit van.

The market’s community will have the chance to experience the power and productivity of the E‑Transit, as Ford Pro is making a van available throughout 2023 that traders will be able to reserve for their commercial vehicle needs.

Supporting the initiative is Levi Roots, Brixton local and Electric Avenue regular, who is embarking on his own journey to work more sustainably and decarbonise his business’ logistics. Also leading the way at Electric Avenue are Healthy Eaters and K & N Fresh Meat Ltd, who alongside Levi Roots will be encouraging the wider community to make the most of the E‑Transit and take part in test drives offered to the traders at the market this week.

Together, the businesses are rallying the trading community to help make Electric Avenue fully electric once again, aiming to get all traders driving electric vehicles by 2030, ahead of the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles.

“Many of Electric Avenue’s local businesses have been serving customers for decades, spanning multiple generations, and probably with the support of a Transit. It is vital that these businesses continue to thrive as we shift towards an all-electric future together. Ford Pro is ready to support them every step of the way and is calling on councils and governments to get behind the switch too,” said Mandy Dean, director, commercial vehicles, Ford of Britain and Ireland.

Ford Pro’s initiative comes in response to its recent research  that found over half (51 per cent) of van drivers across the UK think that current charging infrastructure is not ready to support electric commercial vehicles – one of the biggest drawbacks to EV adoption.

However, Ford Pro’s survey also found clear enthusiasm to make the switch and awareness of electrification’s benefits; 56 per cent of respondents agreed that EVs could improve productivity via lower running costs, features such as the ability to keep an eye on any required maintenance (18 per cent) and the ability to charge at home for maximum uptime and efficiency (12 per cent).

The E-Transit is exempt from London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone and congestion charge payments, which could save traders £27.50 per day compared to running a diesel van, and is also exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty until April 2025.

Ford Pro’s survey found three further current barriers to widespread electric van adoption:

  • Difficulty finding parking, loading bays or depots with charging facilities (over 75 per cent)
  • Insufficient fast-charging options available (30 per cent)
  • Lack of appropriate charging stations negatively impacting productivity and profitability (29 per cent)

Ford is calling on the UK government and local councils to increase their spending on electric vehicle infrastructure, as more businesses and consumers make the switch ahead of the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicle sales in 2030.

Supporting small and medium-sized businesses on the journey towards an electric future is not only important for the environment, but also for the economy; small businesses contribute more than £2 trillion in turnover to the economy and employ 44 per cent of the British workforce.

“As my business continues to grow, I’m always looking for ways to streamline my logistics and keep my business sustainable”, said Levi Roots, founder and CEO. “The Ford Transit van has been the backbone of market traders for decades, and now the E-Transit has allowed me to reduce my impact on the environment even more. The tools that Ford Pro can offer businesses like mine will really help us boom as consumers become more environmentally conscious.”

“We’ve been a staple of the Brixton community for almost 20 years, and taking these steps to reducing air pollution makes me incredibly proud”, said Stafford Geohagen, owner, Healthy Eaters. “As locals, we owe it to our community, current customers, and new customers to look after each other. I hope we can become one of the first markets to go fully electric and set an example for other markets nationwide.”

“We were so surprised at how easy it was to adapt to using an electric van for our logistics”, said Imran Ibrahim of K & N Fresh Meat Ltd. “As a purveyor of the best meats and groceries, the environment is so important to us, and knowing we’re taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint means we’re protecting the environment for years to come.” 

Sign up for our essential
newsletter service.

Enter your details here.