EVS could go the last mile to cut emis­sions

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DE­LIV­ERY ve­hi­cles in towns across the UK could be re­placed by elec­tric vans, quadri­cy­cles and e-cargo bikes, af­ter the De­part­ment for Trans­port (DFT) launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into “last-mile” par­cel dis­tri­bu­tions.

Some 96 per cent of UK vans run on diesel, with the rise of on­line shop­ping blamed for a 4.7 per cent in­crease in van traf­fic dur­ing 2016 alone.

Now the DFT is ask­ing how elec­tric al­ter­na­tives might help the Govern­ment meet its air qual­ity tar­gets. Busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als can sug­gest if in­cen­tives could help com­pa­nies move away from con­ven­tional vans, and how ur­ban “con­sol­i­da­tion cen­tres” would help im­prove “lo­gis­ti­cal ef­fi­ciency”.

The DFT says dis­tri­bu­tion net­works will re­quire “ma­jor changes” if EV bikes and vans are to take over de­liv­er­ies of goods in British towns and cities.

At present, diesel vans are loaded at huge out-of-town ware­houses. These are un­suit­able for many small elec­tric ve­hi­cles, though, which face lim­its both in terms of range, and the num­ber of parcels they can carry. For ex­am­ple, e-cargo bikes are typ­i­cally only ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing goods weigh­ing up to 125kg.

FU­TURE Elec­tric bikes and vans could pro­vide greener so­lu­tions to de­liv­er­ing goods in ur­ban ar­eas

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