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Electric vans supported by government licence changes

Electric vans supported by government licence changes

Van driver licensing rule changes will make the switch to electric vans easier, if proposed government plans go ahead!


Why are changes proposed?

The changes account for the added weight of electric or hybrid-electric engines and this added weight not consequently effecting the payload of the vans. The aim of the government in improving usability of some electric vans, is to reduce pollution by vans in towns and cities around the country and hence improve the air quality.


Electric vans

Electric vans tend to be heavier than their diesel and petrol counterparts, mainly due to the weight of the battery required to store the electric van charge. On the whole this means that the payload they can carry is reduced, or it currently means that van drivers would have to apply for a special category C driving licence with incorporated costs and medical report requirements.


How will the changes affect electric vans?

The new van drivers licence changes will increase the maximum possible van mass that can be driven on a normal Category B driving licence (a standard car licence), from the current weight of 3500kg to an increased 4250kg to account for the extra weight of the battery.


The Department for Transport (DfT) has developed plans that will permit van drivers to drive vans weighing up to the new limit of 4250kg, if they are powered either by electricity, Liquefied Petroleum gas (LPG), hydrogen or natural gas.


The importance of vans for the economy

Transport Minister Jesse Norman has realised the importance of vans and the economy, but also recognises the challenges posed to air quality: "Vans have become essential to our economy and are vital for builders, small businesses and delivery drivers. We have more of them on our roads than ever before. That's a good sign for the economy, but our challenge is to try to tackle their impact on air quality."


He also stated: "We want to make it easier for businesses to opt for cleaner vans and these proposals are designed to do just that."

The consultation will continue until the end of October this year, where a decision is expected on this proposal.


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