THE MAJORITY (71.4%) of van operators intend to use electric vehicles in their fleets, according to FTA’s 2019 Logistics Report, and the association is calling on government to increase its investment into electric vehicle affordability.
Denise Beedell, policy manager for vans and urban at FTA, commented: ‘We are not surprised that so many members intend to use electric vehicles in their van fleets but they will need assistance from the government to be able to do so. By providing clear guidance on how it plans to upgrade the grid infrastructure, without all the costs falling on individual businesses, legislators would make the shift to electric an attractive option. But electric vans are still significantly more expensive to purchase than their standard fuel based counterparts. Public charging points must be available for use by businesses as well as residents.’
However the rise of silent electric vans will lead to deaths on British streets unless drivers adopt vital noise safety tech, says Chris Hanson-Abbott OBE, of road safety device manufacturer Brigade Electronics.
‘Dangerously quiet electric and hybrid vehicles put vulnerable pedestrians, particularly kids and the disabled in danger.’
‘All new van models will now have to emit a noise when travelling at low speed, however the registration only covers new models registered after 1 September and then new registrations after September 2021, by which time there will be several million potentially lethal electric vehicles on the UK’s roads.
‘And as Europe’s biggest adopter of online shopping, the number of final mile deliveries to residential areas in the UK has jumped, putting more families at risk,’ he stressed.
‘The average person struggles to hear electric and hybrid cars approach at speeds of up to 20kmh (12.5mph). Quite simply, they are dangerous. Fortunately, there is an aftermarket solution, Brigade’s Quiet Vehicle Sounder, that creates sound and therefore decreases the risk,’ said Chris Hanson-Abbott.