The move towards alternatively fuelled vehicles, and in particular electric technology, is very much top of the agenda for businesses within the light commercial vehicle industry.
While diesel vans still dominate the roads the direction of travel is heading one way: away from the internal combustion engine.
But the journey is far from straightforward, and despite all the noise surrounding electric vans the numbers currently in use are tiny – under 0.2% of LCVs on the nation’s roads, according to estimates.
The government wants this figure to leap to 40% in little over a decade, but to achieve such an escalation surely it needs a joined-up, nationwide strategy, which is precisely what environmental pressure group ClientEarth claims it lacks.
Air quality is an emotive subject involving people’s health, but businesses must make realistic, cost-effective decisions when choosing the LCVs that meet the needs of their operations.
Electric vans may be well suited to defined urban delivery routes, but what about operators with less predictable work schedules? Or those needing to carry heavy loads over long distances in cold weather?
There are many hurdles to overcome in going green in terms of cost and practicality, and in our Green Focus we seek to offer practical advice as we highlight the main issues facing LCV operators embarking on the road to a more sustainable future.