The Government needs a ‘van plan’ if it wants to achieve its economic and environmental goals, says the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).
The automotive trade body has said that the fleet industry has raised concerns about the lack of parity with the car market and is urging government take steps to support the van sector.
The BVRLA has raised concerns amid small businesses and van operators facing costs to upgrade to cleaner vehicles amid the looming 2030 petrol and diesel ban.
The purchase price of an electric van is the biggest barrier to its adoption, according to new research published by the Department for Transport (DfT).
Gerry Keaney, chief executive at the BVRLA, said: “I am confident that the Government appreciates the important contribution the van market makes to society and the UK economy, but it has failed to understand that commercial vehicles are a long way behind cars and a targeted plan is needed.”
The BVRLA has recommended that the Government makes a ‘van plan’ which includes ringfenced funding for the van sector, new van charging grants and funding, ensuring the supply chain caters for vans, develop van specific targets and requirements for charge point provision and dropping the exclusion of rented and leased vans from the super deduction.
Keaney added: “Although the shift to zero-emission cars is progressing at pace, van users face different challenges.
"Electric van technology lags far behind cars and yet there are no electric vans on the market capable of towing or delivering long ranges.
“Without the right fiscal support millions of van drivers and fleet operators could see business recovery stifled and government could see zero-emission targets not met if steps are not taken now to support fleets and the 3.4 million people who rely on vans every day to do their job.”
BVRLA said it is estimated that one-in-ten workers rely on a van for their job, with increased demand from home delivery and essential services sectors who rely on vans to carry out day-to-day business.
Keaney said: “The UK’s reliance on vans to transit equipment, goods and people has never been greater.
"Our members are collectively responsible for almost 800,000 vans on UK roads, and they buy around 65% of all new vans sold each year, so we have a lot of skin in the game.
“We will continue to remind policymakers that commercial vehicles must not play second fiddle to cars.”