electric van

Regulatory issues that are holding back the electric van market have been highlighted by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).

The issues were outlined in a letter to the Department for Transport from the NFDA’s Commercial Vehicle Division.

It said that since 2018 the government has been aware of the need to introduce payload allowances for the weight of electric vans.

However, ever since then the supporting legislation has been muddled, with tachographs needed on electric vans that travel over 62 miles from base, some driving licence holders needing Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training courses, and these vehicles being treated as HGVs due to their heavier battery weight, which then requires annual ministry testing.

These policy intricacies are contributing to the sluggish adoption of new electric vans, with registrations accounting for 5.2% of the market. Meanwhile the government is poised to impose fines on LCV manufacturers beginning in 2024 for failing to reach the mandated 10% benchmark in EV light commercial sales, and 19% in 2025.

NFDA CVD has consistently called for a revision of these ZEV mandate targets, not compromising the end targets, but a softer transition in the earlier years. As this deadline looms, it said it is imperative to address these discrepancies to effectively transition light commercial vehicle users to zero-emission alternatives.

It added: “While the shift to electric commercial vehicles is progressing, the uncertainty surrounding the regulatory framework for 4.25-ton electric vans hampers their growth potential. We urge regulatory bodies to work collaboratively to establish clear and consistent guidelines that promote the safe and sustainable operation of these vehicles.”

Steve Latham, head of NFDA’s Commercial Vehicle Division, concluded: “The NFDA remains committed to advocating for an environment where regulations surrounding 4.25-ton electric vans are well-defined, fostering a conducive ecosystem for innovation, growth, and environmental responsibility.”