There is demand for electric vehicles, but the price has to be right for it to make sense to operators, according to the Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe (FREVUE) project.

FREVUE co-ordinator Tanja Dalle-Muenchmeyer told delegates at yesterday's Freight in the City Expo that operators using electric vehicles as part of its four-year project, now in its final 10 months, liked having the vehicles on their fleets.

“It’s becoming the new normal for them”, she said of UPS, which runs 42 electric vans in London (16 as part of the FREVUE project).

Others would follow, she added, “but it needs to be at the right price, and it needs to be available”.

She added that grid infrastructure for recharging the vehicles was also an obstacle, and cited UPS’s £600,000 upgrade of grid infrastructure in Kentish Town to allow it to charge its vehicles when it needed them.

“It was costly but they had the funds”, said Dalle-Muenchmeyer, “and other operators may not be able to do that. So that’s something we need to think on going forwards.”