British government plans to end sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030 (brought forward from 2035) will present additional challenges for commercial vehicle operators without urgent government action, says Logistics UK (formerly FTA).

“With electric vehicles making up only 1% of all vans sold in the UK in 2019, bringing forward the ban on conventionally fuelled cars and vans by a further five years will cause additional difficulty for logistics businesses,” said Logistics UK policy manager for Vans and Urban, Denise Beedell.

“While the logistics industry remains fully committed to transitioning to zero emission vehicles, with many operators already starting this process, an industry-wide adoption of the policy will only be possible if the government takes urgent action to support the reinforcement of power supply infrastructure required to run electric fleets, as well as introducing a fairer and more equitable way of funding grid reinforcements and energy upgrades.

“Currently, if a logistics business does not have sufficient energy supply to power its electric vehicle fleet, they must pay to upgrade the entire local electricity hub themselves which can cost more than GBP1m (US$1.3m). This cost is on top of the premium to buy electric vehicles which are more expensive than conventionally powered vehicles; government action is needed to reduce these expenses.

Following ‘extensive consultation with car manufacturers and sellers,’ British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson confirmed the UK will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, ten years earlier than previously planned.

However, there is a concession to the industry on hybrids. “We will allow the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035,” noted a statement from the government.

Logistics UK represents businesses vital to keeping the UK trading and more than 7m people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods.