Government must address ‘significant’ barriers to EV uptake, says FTA
Fleet operator support for electric vehicles is being undermined by “significant” barriers to EV uptake, necessitating urgent government action.
A new report by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) finds nine out of 10 operators that are already using EVs planning to expand their fleets within the next three years but further expansion will require the Government to address deployment issues, including grid capacity constraints as well as a lack of electric commercial vehicles choices and availability issues.
Denise Beedell, FTA’s policy manager for vans and urban, said: “The report outlines fleet operators’ frustrations with the limited vehicle types available: 71% of respondents who decided against purchasing EVs cited this as the primary reason. For a number of years, FTA has urged manufacturers to progress the development of heavier EVs over 3.5 tonnes, as well as models such as tippers and pickups, and would like to see more definitive timelines from manufacturers as to when such vehicles will be available. In the meantime, FTA is asking government to recognise these limitations when implementing local and national policies on vehicle access.”
Beedell continued: “Operators also view grid capacity as a severe limitation to the ongoing shift to EVs; we believe they must not be expected to incur the cost of upgrading the electricity infrastructure. While businesses within the logistics industry are keen to play their part in reducing carbon emissions, the government must find a fairer way of funding the necessary grid upgrades, as well as ensuring on-street public charging facilities can be used by commercial EV operators, not just private cars.”
Earlier this week, Mitie also highlighted how a lack of both charge points – including on-street residential and rapid chargers – and larger vans remain “major blockers” for the UK’s EV transition. The facilities management giant has deployed its 250th EV but says further chargers are needed to enable more businesses, as well as government departments and city councils, to join it in the switch to electric vehicles.
To access the FTA’s EV report, click here.