A major new survey of UK hauliers has found none have plans to roll out electric vehicles within the next 12 months, although 41% claimed it was part of their longer-term strategy.

The research - carried out by Microlise and revealed by chief executive Nadeem Raza (pictured) at its Transport Conference in Coventry last week - also found 26% of operators would switch to electric 'once the technology is available for HGVs'.

A further 12% said they already had electric vehicles, while 21% said they were not in their future plans.

Asked which non-electric vehicles they might be planning for their fleets, 34% of operators said they would choose biodiesel, 17% liquified natural gas (LNG), 12% hybrid and just 6% hydrogen fuel cell.

However, 30% of those questioned failed to respond.

Turning to the current challenges facing the sector, the survey found fuel costs (20%) were having the most impact on hauliers while rising salaries and inflation (18%) and vehicle shortages (17%) were also prompting concern.

Other pressures included enivronmental legislation (16%) and the recruitment of back office staff (13%).

Asked how they were expecting new legislation and increased fuel costs to change their fleet strategy, 37% of operators said they would stay with their current mix while 27% said they would seek alternative fuels.

A small number of hauliers (5%) said they would increase the size of their trailers while the same proportion said they would increase their number of small vehicles.

Meanwhile 26% of those questioned admitted they were not sure enough of their strategy to comment.