The MOT test exemption for electric vans should be closed, says Arval.
Currently, electric vans are exempt from MOT tests and O Licence requirements due to historic legislation from the era of milk floats.
Eddie Parker, Fleet CV consultant at Arval, said: “The legislation covering electric vans is lagging some way behind the current situation.
“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.”
The fleet management company says that the absence of a test - and, for those weighing more than 3.5 tonnes GVW, no O Licence either - removes a key element of the maintenance structure for fleets running these vehicles.
Electric vans are 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.
“The legislation here is largely common sense but it should be kept in mind because it does constitute a further legal responsibility for fleets and may need building into relevant fleet and health and safety policies,” added Parker.
As pressures to reduce city centre emissions increase, Arval believes the adoption of electric vans by certain fleets could be quite rapid.
“The improvements that we are seeing in the new generation of models including improved range, faster charging and bigger payloads are all very positive developments.
“However, the truth is that there is very little expertise in the fleet industry about their operation and the lack of awareness of the MOT and O Licence situation is just one example,” Parker said.
Arval is launching a new guide at the CV Show; Delivering the future: A guide to operating electric vans, which is aimed at providing operational guidance for fleets that are starting to operate electric vans.