Pressure could be placed on use of combustion-engined vehicles for last leg of deliveries

The UK Government is considering the introduction of incentives to encourage delivery firms to ditch combustion-engined vans for eco-friendly modes of transport during the last leg of their service.

So-called 'last mile' deliveries, where goods are taken from a delivery hub to their final destination, often still rely on diesel vans. However, particularly in built-up areas, the use of zero-emission vehicles or bicycles is now considered more efficient while also drastically reducing emissions from the delivery process.

Several firms that focus on this section of delivery have already been established, while leading delivery company UPS announced earlier this year that its fleet of 170 central London delivery vehicles would be swapped for electric alternatives.

However, the Government is understood to be eager to drastically increase the percentage of businesses utilising zero-emission vehicles as part of its wider plans to cut transport emissions in the UK.

“The Government has announced it is considering further options for reducing emissions for 'last mile' deliveries, to be set out by cycling and walking minister Jesse Norman,” the Department for Transport said.

It said that “providing grants and/or other financial incentives to support the use of e-cargo bikes” is being considered. E-cargo bikes are electrically assisted pedal bicycles that can carry up to 125kg of cargo. They have an electric motor of up to 250W to provide torque to the rear wheel at speeds of up to 15mph.

E-cargo bikes are being used in a trial shopping delivery scheme, supported through the Innovation Challenge Fund and operated with Sainsburys. The results of this scheme will be revealed to the government.

The proposal follows the Government's confirmation that the plug-in car grant and van grant would be continued. The DfT said it emphasises the Government’s commitment to its “climate and clean air targets as part of £1.5 billion being spent on ultra-low emission vehicles to 2021”.

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders boss Mike Hawes said earlier today that a shift to electric transport would need a “world-class package of incentives to drive demand”. A new report, published today, recommends that the Mayor of London provide free parking for EVs in the capital. 

More content:

Volkswagen ID electric hatch to stay true to concept

Citroen C5 Aircross launched in Europe

Our Verdict

Seat Ateca

Seat's first attempt at building an SUV is a cracker and knocked the Nissan Qashqai off its perch in the process, so we discover what makes the Ateca our class leader

Join the debate

Comments
2

24 May 2018

the likes of Gnewt Cargo have been delivering last mile logistics with electric vehicles for a while so easliy possible in any large metropolis. 

For me this is the missing link especially when you read TfL stats on LCV usage in London.

ex boy scout, engineer and all round geek.....

25 May 2018

Are we going back to the future.I seem to remember very efficent and silent milk carts,one of the most iconic sights in the UK.Haven't seen one for awhile,are they still used?

garage man

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S road test review hero front
    Car review
    22 June 2018
    Is AMG's rapid GLC 63 SUV the answer to your prayers, or to a question nobody’s asking?
  • Dacia Duster 2018 first drive review hero front
    First Drive
    22 June 2018
    It's still not as refined as other SUVs, but in terms of sheer value the second-generation Duster is very much in a class of its own
  • Ford Ka+ Active 2018 first drive review hero front
    First Drive
    22 June 2018
    This SUV-inspired makeover for Ford’s city-friendly small car will find its fans, but the Ka+ Active doesn’t set any new benchmarks for the class
  • Suzuki Swift Sport 2018 long-term review hero front
    First Drive
    22 June 2018
    The Japanese hot hatch is all grown up in terms of character, technology and price, but is it still a fun-loving kid at heart? Let’s find out
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Shogun Sport 4
    First Drive
    21 June 2018
    Shogun Sport name returns to the UK, attached to a seven-seat 4x4 that, Mitsubishi hopes, deftly combines practicality, comfort and toughness