17 January 2018
The government has confirmed plans to raise the weight limit of alternatively-fuelled vans that can be driven on a standard category B driver’s licence.
Under the previous regulations drivers of vans exceeding 3.5 tonnes GVW required a C1 lighter goods vehicle licence. With alternative-fuelled vehicles usually weighing more than conventionally-powered versions this meant many cleaner options were unavailable to operators with a standard licence.
Following the amendment the category B limit for vans with powertrains that are battery electric, fuel cell powered or run on CNG, LNG and LPG will be increased by 750kg to 4.25 tonnes. The current vehicle excess duty charge which taxes vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and HGVs will not be affected by the change.
Transport Minister Jesse Norman said, “Vans have become essential to our economy and are vital for our builders, small businesses and delivery drivers. We have more of them on our roads than ever before. That’s a good sign for the economy, but our challenge is to try to tackle their impact on air quality. We want to make it easier for businesses to opt for cleaner vehicles, and these proposals are designed to do just that.”
Head of Fleet at Ocado Stuart Skingsley said, “At Ocado, we are very keen to incorporate the latest low-emission technologies in our vehicle fleet, but we have been unable to do so, due to the extra weight of the technology and category B licence restrictions. This vital derogation would allow us to field the latest alternatively fuelled vans, reducing harmful emissions and improving the UK’s air quality.”