Government proposals to raise the limit for driving an electric van on a normal driving license could raise a number of risk management questions for fleets, a leasing giant has warned.
The proposals would mean that the current limit of 3.5 tonnes would instead be raised to 4.25 tonnes.
According to Eddie Parker, LCV consultant at Arval, those who drive anything above 3.5 tonnes are subject to “a whole series of obligations” at present.
Parker said fleets will have to decide if it is responsible to place drivers with standard licenses into the cab of a vehicle that normally requires further training.
He added: “The government’s proposal is, overall, a good idea but it does need some discussion by the industry. It is probably not as simple as waiving through drivers of existing 3.5-tonners into heavier vehicles without any additional thought.”
Various bodies, including the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and Iveco have lobbied the government for the increase for a number of years, saying upping the weight limit would negate a loss in payload caused by a battery taking up more weight than a normal engine.
The lobbyists have also argued that upping the weight limit would make running electric vans far more viable than at present.
The Government consultation seeks to “correct a regulation anomaly” in which electric vans are currently exempt from MOT testing.
The consultation runs until 18 October 2017 and information and details on how to respond can be found here.