Plans to turbocharge the UK’s progress towards decarbonising transport unveiled this week still ignore how the logistics industry can viably transition to cleaner fuels, according to Logistics UK.
The government said its “robust package of measures” supported the shift to electric vehicles and included almost £400m for the installation of thousands of new chargers across the country and increase EV infrastructure.
But Logistics UK said it was disappointed at the lack of a plan for HGVs: “The UK has the opportunity to be a leader in green innovation and investment, and this plan is a step in the right direction for parts of the UK’s logistics network,” said Kate Jennings, policy director at Logistics UK.
“However, it remains vital that the government provides a delivery roadmap for commercial electric vehicle infrastructure, low carbon fuels and rail electrification, so businesses can invest in confidence.
“For operators electrifying their fleet, the capital expenditure required for depot charging can be extortionately high, with some operators who are currently in the process of electrifying their van fleets reporting costs of over £1 million – which is often not commercially viable, especially if premises are leased.
“The UK therefore needs a roadmap for electric logistics vehicles that includes a fair approach to funding electricity connections for depot charging,” Jennings said.
“Public charge points must ensure sufficient space for logistics vehicles and fast charging points to enable operators to maximise the efficiency of fleets.”
Motorway service operator Moto said it urgently needed cross government collaboration to deliver the infrastructure and planning reforms required to roll out ultra-rapid EV charging hubs: “The promise of a speeded planning process to accelerate solar and offshore wind projects is tantalising but is missing the one thing we need most – pace,” said Moto CEO Ken McKeikan.
“We need more power now. In seven years’ time we expect EV charging in the UK will require twelve times more energy than we currently use today.
“If this planning promise is delivered at the same slow pace as the previously announced Rapid Charging Fund back in 2020, its likely UK EV drivers will not have sufficient high-power chargers to cope with demand - urgent action is required now.”
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