The ‘white van man’ is going green with more than a third considering the switch to electric – and 20 per cent are ditching fry-ups in favour of a meat-free diet, research has revealed.
A survey of 500 van drivers carried out by Fiat Professional revealed 91 per cent think it’s vital for everyone to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
And it is time to put the myths and stereotypes about the motorists who keep Britain running to bed – with almost two thirds of van drivers offended by the idea they’re aggressive on the road.
The perception that the interior of a van is a health and safety hazard is also a no-no – with 77 per cent claiming they take pride and joy in ensuring their vehicle is always clean and tidy.
Two thirds (66 per cent) also admitted they are tired of the claim van drivers get by on an unhealthy diet.
Instead, one in five are vegan or vegetarian, and high calorie breakfasts have been ditched – with ‘green van man’ more likely to have a bagel or cereal bar than a fry-up.
When on the move, van drivers are just as likely to listen to Radio 2 as they are Radio 1.
The research was carried out by Fiat Professional to launch its E-Ducato electric van in the UK, which has a range of up to 192 miles between charges – almost four times the daily distance driven by the van drivers surveyed.
It also found two thirds support the government’s plans to reduce vehicle emissions on UK roads, while more than eight in 10 (84 per cent) also think companies should be looking to have an environmentally friendly fleet of vehicles.
Overall, 35 per cent of drivers are considering the switch to electric for their next van.
Richard Chamberlain, from Fiat Professional, said: “It’s a bit of a tired myth now that van drivers are tailgaters who take little pride in their vehicle or the environment.
“Caring about the planet is an important part of everyone’s lives, and while the growth in popularity of electric cars has been well publicised, it seems many van drivers are proud of their office and are also looking to make the switch to zero emission motoring.
“Electric vans offer a lot of benefits for delivery companies and tradespeople. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they are also exempt from the congestion charge and ULEZ and are available with up to a whopping £8,000 government grant.”
The findings come after a poll of 2,000 adults commissioned by Fiat revealed consumers are becoming more interested in the carbon footprint of items delivered to doors across the country.
Three quarters of adults want delivery companies to use zero emission vehicles where they can, while 75 per cent also want to see retail and consumer companies focus on ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
More than half (52 per cent) would like to know more about the carbon footprint of delivery companies across the UK.
And 53 per cent of those surveyed via OnePoll want to know more about how environmentally friendly delivery vehicles are.
Chamberlain added: “Transportation is changing, and it’s not just the people behind the wheel who want a more environmentally friendly way of getting from A to B.
“The way we buy goods has radically shifted over the past 12 months as e-commerce becomes a more and more important part of consumer behaviour.
“Whether we’re getting our weekly groceries dropped off or a shiny new electrical device delivered, more and more people are wanting to know it’s being brought to our home by a company which is being as eco-conscious as possible.”