MOT electric van ‘loophole’

The fact that electric vans do not currently require an MOT test presents a major worry for fleets as a wave of new vehicles starts to reach the market, with many being shown at next month’s Commercial Vehicle Show, Arval is warning.

The fleet management company says that the absence of a test – and, for those over 3.5 tonnes GVW, no O Licence either – removes a key element of the maintenance structure for fleets running these vehicles.

Eddie Parker, fleet CV consultant at Arval, explained, ‘The legislation covering electric vans is lagging some way behind the current situation, being really designed for a time when the only common electric commercial vehicles were milk floats.

‘Our view is that this loophole will, and should, be closed quite quickly by the authorities but in the meantime, it does create an operational difficulty. Because fleet vans are often run into three, four and five years, the MOT provides useful structure for fleets when it comes to maintaining vehicles, as well as proving that they are being looked after to legal standards.’

He added that a further complication was that electric vans were also legally viewed as wheeled items of electrical plant and therefore affected by rules covering electrical equipment in the workplace such as The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016.

Eddie said that pointing out these issues in no way distracted the operational advantages of electric vans and that Arval believed that they would become a key part of the fleet mix.