Electric vehicle transition could 'grind to a halt' without more chargers and a 'giant leap' in funding

Electric vehicle transition could 'grind to a halt' without more chargers and a 'giant leap' in funding

WATCH: AA President Edmund King on electric vehicles

GB News
Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 23/02/2024

- 11:49

Updated: 23/02/2024

- 11:50

Many drivers have concerns about the number of electric vehicle chargers across the UK

Immediate action is required by the Government to help the public transition towards electric vehicles, or it risks not meeting its net zero targets.

The call follows the news that over three million people who rely on vans in the UK are at risk of falling behind the UK’s zero-emission journey, unless action is taken to support the transition to electric vans.

According to a coalition of industry experts and trade bodies, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), more funding is needed to create new electric vans to help incentivise the switch.

The plea comes alongside the “Zero Emission Van Plan” which highlighted the need for more charging stations to be installed as well as the removal of regulatory barriers to help with the uptake of commercial electric vans.

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Electric vehicle charging space

The Van Plan was created as a response to growing concerns raised by drivers


The Van Plan was launched in the Houses of Parliament and saw representatives from across the coalition talking to MPs about the sector and where they can bring positive change.

MPs from the top four parties joined to pledge their support for the Van Plan which included Transport Secretary Mark Harper, the chair of the Transport Select Committee, and four members of the shadow cabinet.

Commenting on the launch of the Van Plan, Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the BVRLA, said: “Vans are the backbone of our economy, providing an essential form of transport and a mobile workspace.

“They are growing in number every year and account for a major portion of the miles driven up and down the country.”

The Van Plan was created as a response to growing concerns raised by BVRLA members who were concerned about meeting the 70 per cent EV sales target for vans by 2030.

In 2023, that figure was under six per cent, with the body urgently calling for more support.

The plan warned: “A giant leap is needed to move the market from 5.9 per cent of new e-van sales in 2023 to where it needs to be.

“Without immediate support the transition will continue to stall or even grind to a halt, making the targets in later years impossible to reach.”

Brought together by the BVRLA, the coalition includes support from other industry bodies such as Logistics UK, Recharge UK, the AFP, and The EV Café.

David Wells, chief executive of Logistics UK, said: “The logistics sector remains fully committed to decarbonising and has already made significant progress to do so.

“However, to deliver a fair transition to a green economy that keeps costs down for customers and goods moving from A to B, van operators need meaningful support.

“That means ensuring public chargepoints are accessible to commercial vehicles, removing regulatory barriers from and improving fiscal support for going electric, and tackling barriers with energy supplies.”


Vauxhall electric van

Over three million people rely on vans across the UK


Since January 2023, 17,450 charge points have been added to the UK network, a growth of 46 per cent taking the total to 55,301.

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