Zero Emission Van Plan launched

A coalition of industry experts and trade bodies have launched the ‘Zero Emission Van Plan’ to highlight where action is needed to support the transition to electric vans.

The launch took place in the Houses of Parliament yesterday (Tuesday 20 February). It saw representatives from across the coalition talking to MPs about the sector and where they can bring positive change. MPs from the top four parties joined to pledge their support for the Van Plan. Attendees also included Transport Secretary Mark Harper (pictured below), the Chair of the Transport Select Committee, and four members of the shadow cabinet. 

Key asks and recommendations underpin the Plan, split into factors that impact affordability, vehicle charging, and regulations. As the fastest growing part of the UK’s vehicle parc, vans account for more miles being driven on our roads every year. They are used nationwide across every industry, from engineering and construction to logistics and emergency services. Vans are an essential form of transport and a mobile workspace for 3.4 million drivers. 

Brought together by the BVRLA, the coalition involves Logistics UK, Recharge UK, the AFP, and The EV Café. All partners have contributed to the content of the Van Plan and will be collaborating on activities through 2024 to share its recommendations with decision makers. 

Commenting on the launch of the Van Plan, BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney said: “Vans are the backbone of our economy, providing an essential form of transport and a mobile workspace. They are growing in number every year and account for a major portion of the miles driven up and down the country. 

“If the UK is to meet its road decarbonisation targets, zero-emission vans must take centre stage. They are a vital player in the transition and deserve more attention.” 

Those working in the fleet sector are being encouraged to support the Plan and share its recommendations. A simple online tool allows individuals to quickly send the Plan to their local MP to raise awareness, while fleet operators can also complete a very short online poll to strengthen the data the coalition is putting to decision makers.  

The full Zero Emission Van Plan can be viewed online now:  

David Wells, Chief Executive of Logistics UK 

“The logistics sector remains fully committed to decarbonising and has already made significant progress to do so. However, to deliver a fair transition to a green economy that keeps costs down for customers and goods moving from A to B, van operators need meaningful support. 

“That means ensuring public chargepoints are accessible to commercial vehicles, removing regulatory barriers from and improving fiscal support for going electric, and tackling barriers with energy supplies. With logistics businesses, which operate on small margins, citing costs of £100,000 to over £1 million for upgrading energy supplies at depots, it’s clear that something needs to change if the UK is to achieve its Net Zero goals.” 

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, CEO of REA, said:

“REcharge UK are pleased to be associated with this vital report to get electric van sales on track in the UK. Electric vans have a significant role to play in the transition to net zero, providing significant benefits to the van drivers and operators but also for providing flexibility services. We therefore see it as vital that the recommendations in this report are urgently adopted in order to ensure a fast, and fair transition to net zero for van drivers and fleet operators in the UK, that will maximise the positive effects for the wider energy system and environment. “ 

Paul Hollick, Chair of the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) 

“Vans play an essential role in transporting equipment, supplies and people around the UK.  There are a multitude of issues preventing our members, UK commercial vehicle fleet operators, from making the switch to electric vans – financial, charging and regulatory.  It is essential that action is taken now to get the transition to electric vans on track and enable everybody to reap the benefits.” 

John Curtis, Director of Operations of The EV Café  

“Electric vans are integral to growing the economy and reducing harmful emissions. Targeted government support is required to accelerate the transition to zero emission vans to pump prime the logistics Evolution.” 

Image courtesy of the BVRLA.

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