Iveco has welcomed government proposals to raise the weight allowance for alternatively-fuelled vans that can be driven on a normal licence.

As reported last month, the government wants to raise the weight limit from the current 3.5-tonne ceiling up to 4.25-tonnes to encourage the uptake of electric vans and to negate the payload disadvantage caused by a battery taking up more weight than an engine.

Various bodies, including the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and Iveco have lobbied the government for the increase for a number of years, saying that upping the weight limit would make running electric vans far more viable than at present.

According to Martin Flach, alternative fuels director at Iveco, if the plan is implemented, it would quickly boost the uptake of clean vans and improve the country’s air quality.

He added that the vehicles are available, it just needs the government “to ensure businesses are being given the opportunity to make the most of them.”

“Increasingly, customers are looking seriously at low-emission LCVs but at 3.5 tonnes vehicles are usually critical on payload and it has resulted in a much lower take-up of vehicles than we would have liked,” he said. “It’s always seemed nonsensical that companies keen to implement innovative technology that is better for the environment, should be penalised on payload and have to pay for additional driver training.”

The consultation runs until 18 October 2017 and information and details on how to respond can be found here.