Business and energy secretary Greg Clark announced last week, during a trip to Japan, that electrically-powered freight vehicles above 3.5 tonnes will now be supported by the scheme, which was launched in 2012 for cars and small vans.
Clark said the government is pledging £4 million towards grants of up to £20,000 per vehicle. N2 vans (3.5-12 tonnes gross weight) and N3 vans (over 12 tonnes gross weight) are now eligible.
Rachael Dillon, FTA’s climate change policy manager, says: “We are delighted that government has recognised that freight operators need support as much as other vehicle users to adopt greener fuels and technologies in order to reduce carbon and contribute to improved air quality.
“The cost of an electric vehicle can be prohibitive, so any financial support that government can give may allow operators to make the business case to invest.
“There are still a huge number of barriers to adopting electric vehicles, including higher costs, lack of charging infrastructure, short range, reliability and limited payload due to the weight of batteries. While electric won’t suit every operation or truck, FTA hopes that the grant system can encourage uptake.”