Fleet managers need to re-consider their driver training requirements as they adopt new electric vehicles (EVs), says RED Driver Risk Management.
The DVSA has launched a new training and licensing requirement for anyone driving an alternatively-fuelled vehicle between 3.5 and 4.25 tonnes, but fleets should consider the type of vehicles they will be operating in the next few years.
Seb Goldin, RED Driver Risk Management’s CEO, said: “The DVSA’s new training and licensing requirement is a step in the right direction, but we think this definition is too narrow.
“It won’t be long before large EV panel vans weigh more than 4.25 tonnes because they will need extra battery packs to make them commercially viable to businesses such as delivery fleets doing higher mileages, and utility operators carrying heavy equipment.”
Instead of paying for a training for what it believes will be a narrow period of suitability, RED believes the best solution is for businesses to assess their drivers and put those eligible forward for the more encompassing C1 training which allows employees to drive vehicles from 3.5 tonnes to 7.5 tonnes GVW.
Goldin added: ““The cost of C1 7.5 tonne training will admittedly be higher to that required for the 4.25 tonne system, but putting drivers through C1 training opens up a host of new options for businesses and also future-proofs its operations and commercial vehicle procurement range for that extra investment.
“This will allow businesses to be more flexible in their operations, countering driver absences and being prepared to adapt working practices if a new contract demands it.”