Manufacturers must provide definitive timelines about when they intend to make heavier electric vehicles (EVs) available to operators if widespread take-up of the technology is to become a reality, according to the FTA.

It said that for a number of years it had urged vehicles makers to progress the development of EVs over 3.5-tonnes – as well as tippers and pickups – and yet its latest research revealed continuing frustration among fleet operators over the limited models available.

The FTA report showed that nine out of 10 operators already relying on EVs planned to expand their fleets within the next three years, but further expansion required the government to step in and urgently address current limitations.

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In addition, 71% of respondents that decided against buying EVs cited the lack of choice as the primary reason for sticking with diesel.

Denise Beedell, FTA policy manager for vans and urban, said: “Operators also view grid capacity as a severe limitation to the ongoing shift to EVs; we believe they must not be expected to incur the cost of upgrading the electricity infrastructure.

“While businesses within the logistics industry are keen to play their part in reducing carbon emissions, the government must find a fairer way of funding the necessary grid upgrades, as well as ensuring on-street public charging facilities can be used by commercial EV operators, not just private cars.”