Green enthusiasm needs government support says logistics industry
Wednesday 15 January 2020
Logistics operators are among the first to identify the benefits of switching to electric vehicles (EVs), according to FTA, with nine out of ten operators who are already using EVs planning to expand their fleets within the next three years. However, according to a new report from FTA, released today (15 January 2020), further expansion will require the government to urgently address the limitations which prevent wider adoption across the UK’s fleet.
Denise Beedell, FTA’s Policy Manager for Vans and Urban, comments: “While the report shows there is incredible determination to create positive change across the logistics industry, it also identifies significant barriers that remain, preventing further uptake. FTA – the business organisation representing the sector – is calling on government to address these issues which include grid capacity constraints as well as limited vehicle types and vehicle availability, if the roll out of the UK’s EV fleet is to continue.
“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.”
Ms Beedell continues: “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.”
FTA’s survey was conducted across a range of fleet operators from small, local businesses to large, international fleets. The guide can be accessed via the following link: fta.co.uk/evreport
Efficient logistics is vital to keep the UK trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.