Holders of standard car driving licences will be able to drive heavier electric vans than conventional equivalents, according to newly announced rules designed to help the uptake of alternatively-fuelled vehicles.
At the moment, drivers with a standard B (car) licence are only able to drive vans weighing up to 3.5 tonnes. But because of the heavy weight of its batteries, comparable electric vans weigh more and would, therefore, exceed this limit.
In response, the government has taken the decision to revise existing rules so that licence B holders will be able to drive alternatively-fuelled vans weighing up to 4.25 tonnes – providing they complete a minimum of five hours of additional training prior to getting behind the wheel.
This training can only be provided by two government-recognised LGC training providers – the National Register of LGV instructors and the National Vocational Driving Instructors Register.
The change to the rules forms part of the government’s push for motorists to adopt ultra-low emission vehicles, as set out in its Road to Zero strategy.
Jesse Norman, future of mobility minister, said: “The government’s Road to Zero Strategy sets out our ambition for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.
“By changing these driving licence requirements, we are seeking to support business owners by enabling them to use alternatively fuelled vehicles more easily.”