Proposed changes to driving licence rules to support the uptake of zero-emission vehicles weighing between 3.5t and 4.25t have been welcomed by the BVRLA.

The UK Government, following a consultation, is proposing four measures, following on from the existing exemption that allows standard licence holders to drive electric vans weighing up to 4.25t, rather than the usual 3.5t, to account for the extra weight of batteries.

The proposals are: to change the types of powertrains eligible for the licence flexibility, from alternatively-fuelled to zero-emission vehicles only; to remove an associated five-hour training requirement; to expand the legislation to all vehicles eligible to be driven on a standard licence; and to allow drivers to use the flexibility to tow a trailer in line with the rules for other vehicles.

Reacting to the proposals, BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “Zero-emission motoring requires a fresh approach. Electric van users have bespoke needs and face too many barriers that are restricting adoption. 

“Today’s announcement shows that the government is listening. These changes will bring greater flexibility and support more van operators in making the switch to greener vehicles sooner.

“The BVRLA remains committed to driving more positive change in this space and has pushed for the MOT regime to consider similar flexibilities for heavier zero-emission vans. 

“Our work with partner associations is accelerating to make sure all levels of government understand the need for renewed focus on the transition to ZEV vans.”