TNB News

On the cusp of a new world

04 July 2024 #TNB News

This week‘s EV Rally has shown the future of fully capable zero emission commercial vehicles has arrived, with some of the very latest light and heavy models completing a gruelling route across Great Britain – from Gretna Green in the north to Hampshire in the south, Norwich to the east and Hay-on-Wye over in the west. On one day the route was an incredible 315 miles, requiring a plan for where and when to charge – that being achieved with surprising ease and every vehicle crossing the finish line.

Two heavy vehicles used for different logistics operations took part this year, a 44-tonne artic and trailer that’s well suited to long-haul distribution and a 19-tonne rigid designed for urban deliveries. Both vehicles put in a strong performance, with the former capable of doing up to 350 miles on a full charge and so could get around the longest route in one go. The rigid, meanwhile, achieves up to 170 miles of range, so its driver took advantage of a break to recharge the battery.

The event underlines the feasibility of operating a fleet of zero emission commercial vehicles, which operators in the truck sector are doing in growing numbers. As SMMT’s latest figures for new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations show, however, demand for battery electric vans slowed for the third month this year, down -16.8% in June. While volumes of electric vans are much greater than those of trucks, the rate of uptake by van fleets needs to increase significantly to meet Britain’s green targets.

With more than 25 different and competitive models available in the UK, electric van technology is ready to meet operators’ needs – an attractive offering that only further highlights the urgent need to maintain green purchase incentives until LCV-suitable public and depot chargepoint rollout is ramped up and gets ahead of need. To do that, and for us to welcome in the new world, every stakeholder including the new government must come up with a national plan and make it happen – so we can rally more businesses to make essential green investments to put us in pole position to decarbonise road transport.

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