DfT announces heavier alternative fuel van consultation

The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a consultation to allow heavier battery electric or natural gas (hence, alternative fuel) vans to drive on British roads than their diesel equivalents.

The government has proposed that the limit for alternative fuel vehicles that can be driven with a standard car driving license would be increased from 3500 to 4250kg.

Should this be allowed, the heavier cans would be able to carry a similar payload to conventional diesel vans. Supermarkets and other delivery firms won’t go to alternative fuel as the added weight of the drivetrain reduces the payload capacity of the vans themselves.

Currently a driver will need a category C1 driving license to drive a vehicle of greater than 3500kg. The DfT consultation document estimates that getting each driver a C1 license would cost an added £1200 per driver, shared between the cost of getting the license, higher driver wages, compulsory medical exams and CPC training.

The alternative fuel van consultation is to run until the 18th of October.

The government seems to be interested in keeping logistics costs downs and artificially helping the market in a drive to the bottom. Drivers’ days are numbered as technology develops things like the Starship robot and driverless vehicles. Government legislation is heading toward permitting such vehicles on the road too. The alternative fuel regulation changes, while great for the environment may not be so good for the workforce…
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