Businesses will be supported to make the switch to electric as the Government commits to a two-year extension of Plug-In Van and Truck Grants.
The move is expected to support the purchase of tens of thousands of greener vans and trucks and will help make the UK less reliant on imports of foreign oil, improving the security of our energy supply and reducing our vulnerability to volatility in global energy prices.
Last year, industry figures showed the UK had the highest number of plug-in electric vans sold in Europe, and there were around four times as many grant applications compared to 2020. Existing grants have supported the purchase of more than 26,000 electric vans and HGVs across the UK since the programme launched in 2012.
With nearly 5% of the UK’s CO2 emissions currently coming from vans, the two-year extension to these grants and the switch to greener vehicles is essential to support the Government’s climate change and air quality commitments.
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “When it comes to clean business, this Government means business. We are backing a generation of green growth for our thriving fleet sector.
“As demand for electric vehicles continues to grow at speed, this extension to our grant scheme will allow tens of thousands more vans to be purchased, transporting goods in a way which is kinder to our environment.
“This will support our vital, ongoing work to clean up our air in towns and cities right across the country and build back greener.”
Government grants for electric vans and trucks has helped kickstart the market, which now offers more than 30 models of electric vans and trucks which qualify for such schemes. Electric vehicles are becoming more popular and affordable, and the number of available models will continue to rise, allowing more people and businesses to benefit from the lower running costs of greener vehicles.
Commenting on the news, BVRLA Director of Corporate Affairs, Toby Poston said: “This good news comes at the perfect time for the fleet industry as it struggles with rising operating costs and global shortage of electric vans.
“The two-year extension on the grant will enable van operators to plan their fleet upgrades with greater confidence.
“This prolonged van grant was a key pillar of the ‘Van Plan’ that the BVRLA launched last year and we are delighted that the Government has responded to our campaign.
“The electric van market continues to lag behind the electric car market and next year was not the time to remove this vital grant.
“As the funds available to support the transition to zero emission diminish, we support the Government’s pragmatic steps to focus on sectors that need the most help in the build up to the 2030 phase-out.”
The BVRLA also welcomed today’s clarification on the continued ability of Class B licence holders to drive heavier electric vans up to 4.25 tonnes.