In the Autumn 2021 Transport and Environment statistics report, the UK Government detailed that transport produced 27% of the UK’s total emissions in 2019. Of this, the majority (91%) came from road transport vehicles; 18% from Heavy Goods Vehicles and 17% from vans.
The data sourced concluded that transport is the biggest sector contributing to the UK’s overall level of emissions, although this could be set to change due to the recent improvement of fuel efficiency and increased sustainability awareness.
The UKs Department for Transport (DfT) has also announced an extension of its plug-in van and truck grants for a further two years, as part of its push to encourage the switch to electric.
Benefits of the move towards electric vehicles would include lower CO2 emissions, less reliance from the UK on foreign oil imports, increased security of the country’s energy supply, and a reduction of the UK’s vulnerability to global energy prices (Logistics Manager). Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “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.”
In addition to the grant extension, the DfT has also announced its plans to continue allowing drivers holding standard car driving licenses to operate electric goods vans at a higher weight limit (up to 4.25 tonnes) compared to the 3.5 tonne limit for diesel vans.
By promoting a move to electric vehicles, the government is not only ensuring a decrease in the country’s emissions, but is also garnering support where needed to gain higher grant funding that can go towards purchasing the heavier and more costly trucks (up to 12 tonnes).