THE zero emission van market has been boosted by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) decision to provide payload concessions to operators of alternatively fuelled vans, according to the FTA.

James Firth, the associations’ head of road freight regulation, commented: ‘We are thrilled DfT has listened to our advice. Our members are committed to transitioning to low or zero emission vehicles, but with their propulsion systems and fuels far heavier than those of petrol and diesel, operators were left in a difficult position. They were forced to either lose payload or use heavier vehicles.

‘This may be the first the government has given transport operators a tangible operational advantage through investing in greener technology. The guidance will fuel interest in the alternatively fuelled commercial vehicle market. Hopefully it will pave the way for such vehicles to become the norm rather than the exception.’

In July 2018, the government laid legislation which allowed a holder of a category B driving licence which allows a driver to drive cars and vans up to 3.5t to drive alternatively fuelled vehicles up to 4.25t, provided they had undertaken a further five hours of training. In September 2018, new legislation put these vehicles out of the operator licensing framework.