Poor infrastructure slowing EV switch

More than half of van owners say they are discouraged from switching to an electric van due to a lack of chargepoint infrastructure.

This is according to new research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which found that 57% of people who own or lease a van in the UK are worried that they wouldn’t be able to find a public charging point when they need it.

Persuading van drivers to switch to zero emission vehicles is essential if Britain is to become net zero while keeping the nation on the move. With more than four million vans on the road, electrifying the fleet will substantially reduce the UK’s transport-related carbon emissions, while also delivering cleaner air in cities. Those who switch can enjoy lower running costs, promote their environmental credentials and demonstrate sustainability when bidding for work.

However, despite electric van uptake doubling in the last year, these vehicles still account for just one in 20 new van registrations – meaning the market is currently about two years behind that of cars. With vans facing the same 2035 end of sale date for non-zero emission vehicles as cars, however, the automotive sector is calling on all stakeholders to match its commitment to drive the electric transition.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “Britain’s businesses run on vans and if we’re to deliver the nation’s carbon emission cuts, we need them to move to electric. There’s an electric van to suit every business case, but we need a ‘van plan’ to ensure zero-emission driving works for the millions of people for whom their van is their livelihood and the millions more who rely on these workhorses for the delivery of their daily needs. The automotive industry is getting these new technology vehicles into the showrooms – we need government and other stakeholders to match our commitments to get them out on the road.”