The Freight Transport Association (FTA) says the Government’s plan to extend its Plug-In Van grant scheme to trucks is a positive step to encourage take-up of green technologies in the logistics sector.
Electrically powered freight vehicles above 3.5 tonnes will now be supported by the scheme, which was launched in 2012, with the Government pledging £4 million towards grants of up to £20,000 per vehicle.
FTA has continually called on the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to provide much-needed financial support to help operators make the switch to alternative fuels and low carbon technology. The grant scheme has been offered to car and small van users since its launch but larger vans and trucks were excluded.
Rachael Dillon, FTA’s Climate Change Policy Manager, said: “We are delighted that Government has recognised that freight operators need support as much as other vehicle users to adopt greener fuels and technologies in order to reduce carbon and contribute to improved air quality.
“The cost of an electric vehicle can be prohibitive so any financial support that Government can give may allow operators to make the business case to invest.
“There are still a huge number of barriers to adopting electric vehicles including higher costs, lack of charging infrastructure, short range, reliability and limited payload due to the weight of batteries. Whilst electric won’t suit every operation or truck, FTA hopes that the grant system can encourage uptake.”