JLR electric

Failures at the Department for Transport are holding back the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) LCVs market, according to the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).

NFDA said the sector was not achieving expected sales volumes, with BEV light commercial vehicle sales only making up 5.2% of the market in the latest monthly figures.

In an attempt to spur the DfT into action, NFDA’s commercial vehicles division has sent a letter to government, outlining how its lack of action is holding back adoption of electric van take-up and slowing the growth of market share with these types of vehicles.

It called for a response to DfT’s own consultation which was released 10 months ago, regarding the weight classification of electric vans in the UK. NFDA-CV has repeatedly called for the naturally heavier EVs not to fall into the heavier +3.5 tonne GVW, and instead fall into the O’ Licence regulatory class.

With the heavier +3.5 tonne GVW there is a raft of safety measures and licensing that need to be adhered to, and NFDA-CV queried whether the vehicles would need an operator’s licence or whether a digital tachograph card would be needed? Also would drivers need to attend the CPC training that HGV drivers have to?

Commenting on the failure of the Department for Transport to promote BEV Light Commercial Vehicles, NFDA chief executive Sue Robinson said: “There is an evident issue regarding the uptake of battery electric light commercial vehicles, which is an ever-pressing issue with the 2030 net-zero target approaching.

“The NFDA would like to see more support from the government’s Department for Transport, including incentives for battery electric LCV consumers. We would further like DfT to address legislative issues that negatively affect their business usage.”

Stephen Latham, head of NFDA commercial vehicle division, added: “We urge the government to take on the opinion of the largest trade association representing LCV retailers in the UK, and quickly establish fair and safe regulation that accurately categorises different vehicle types, while not penalising new heavier and greener AFVs with unnecessary and burdensome regulation.”