Prof calls for electrification of white van fleet

Professor Stephen Holgate, a senior medical expert has told a House of Commons joint committee that the home delivery sector can help tackle urban pollution by moving into electric vans.

At the hearing on Thursday (23 November), Professor Stephen Stephen Holgate, Medical Research Council Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology, University of Southampton, said: “Obviously, we have to move away from fossil fuels; we all realise that that has to happen.”

According to Prof Holgate, pollution from the fast growth of the home delivery sector is a major challenge that needs addressing. He suggested that this could be handled by moving over to electric powered fleets of white vans.

“Mr White Van is the one area that is going on increasing as people do more of their shopping through the internet. It is a big issue and needs to be dealt with,” said Professor Holgate.

“No one is criticising vans; we are criticising what they are burning while they are delivering their goods, not the van itself. Why don’t we have electric white vans, just as in London they are moving towards the electric taxis? That would be very nice.”

Ford and DHL have recently announced that they are to manufacture a Transit based electric van in Germany that your white van man wouldn’t feel out of place in. They are to be built at a large scale and with the general fall in the cost of such vehicles, combined with their far lower Total Cost of Ownership they would be a good bet even today.

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