DfT report highlights need for electric van incentives
The research, conducted by Element Energy, pointed out ownership costs for electric vans were 50% higher than for an equivalent diesel model, not taking the recent Plug-in Van Grant or London Congestion Charge exemption into account. But van operators said they were willing to accept a maximum 10% increase for the technology, with most reporting they were unwilling to pay any.
This isn’t expected to change significantly, with electric vans still expected to be 10% more expensive by 2030 taking oil price projections into account. Hydrogen fuel cell vans should, by that point, have reached a cost of ownership parity with diesel versions, but infrastructure remains a challenge.
Its authors said non-financial incentives, such as access to additional loading bays and bus lanes, extended delivery hours and the relaxation of driver and vehicle licensing to take the vehicles’ lower payloads into account would be important. Manufacturer buy-backs and fixed price servicing would also help remove risk.
BVRLA chief executive John Lewis commented: ‘The vehicle rental and leasing industry is ready and waiting to step in and help create a sustainable market for ultra-low emission vans, but fleets make decisions based on cost more than sentiment.
‘The government has put its money where its mouth is by delivering the Plug-in Van Grant and other tax incentives, but they need to give operators confidence that these will be more than just short-term measures.
‘And van makers must join the party. Rather than relying on government grants to discount their vehicles, they need to produce some serious price cuts. Their current business model doesn’t work.’