UK Leasing

SMMT and BVRLA welcome extension of subsidy for electric vans

The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) have welcomed the government’s decision to extend subsidies for electric vans for two years.

Mike Hawes, Managing Director of SMMT, said: “The expansion of the Plug-in Van Grant is welcome as it will encourage more operators to switch to electric vehicles over the next three years.

“In addition, confirmation of the continuation of current licensing regulations will facilitate the recruitment of drivers for the heaviest electric vans.”

But Hawes said the move was not enough because the market for electric vans was lagging far behind that for cars.

“While the van market saw a record high in electricity usage last year, it remains some distance behind cars, with battery electric vans accounting for just 3.6% of new registrations.

“The speed of adoption therefore needs to be increased, which requires attractive incentives and significant investment in electric vehicle charging stations, particularly those that meet the specific needs of commercial vehicles in each region of the UK.”

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association BVRLA, which represents more than 1,000 companies engaged in vehicle rental, leasing and fleet management, has also given its endorsement.

BVRLA General Affairs Director Toby Poston said: “This good news comes at the perfect time for the fleet industry as it grapples with rising operating costs and a global shortage of electric vans.

“The two-year extension of the grant will allow van operators to plan their fleet upgrades with greater confidence.