Commercial vehicle manufacturer Iveco is accusing the coalition Government of failing to include electric vans in its plans to encourage the use of zero-emission vehicles.
At the launch of its electric-powered Daily where product director Martin Flach said: “We’ve heeded the call to produce alternatively-fuelled vehicles and have poured millions of pounds into producing a CNG-powered Daily van and now an electric one. But unless we get clear political strategies, these vehicles are never going to take off in any number.”
Currently, running electric vehicles is not financially feasible for fleets. While a 3.5-tonne gvw Daily will cost in the region of £23,000 ex-VAT, an electric Daily is £63,000, due to the cost of the batteries to run it. Range is a maximum of around 75 miles per charge.
Flach said: “In France and Germany electric vehicles have been given incentives such as an extra 300kg payload allowance to take the weight of the batteries into account. In the UK if the Government wants clean vans on its roads it needs to offer incentives such as this and on front end price and on capital allowances.”
However, OLEV – the Government’s office for low emission vehicles – said there are several incentives and programmes in place to promote the uptake of low and zero-emission vans.
“Most vans are also sold to business users, so benefits through the tax system may be a more appropriate way to support this market,” an OLEV spokesman said. “These are in place already and include exemption from Van Benefit Charge, Enhanced Capital Allowances and no VED.”
The previous Government also pumped millions of pounds through Cenex, the Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies, to deliver the Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP).
The programme, which is still running, used £20million of initial funding to allow public sector fleets to meet the additional costs of procuring low carbon vans. There is a further £30million available.
To check out the latest Iveco vans, come to the Fleet News van reviews page.
By Trevor Gelken