The Government has revealed plans to revolutionise city centre transport, with the aim of eliminating vans from these areas.
The Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, revealed today by transport minister Jesse Norman, aims for deliveries to be carried out by electrically powered e-vans, micro vehicles and e-cargo bikes, replacing light commercial vehicles in urban environments.
This involves a shift to electric vehicles, with even the largest delivery vehicles planned for electrification in city centres, although the Government aims for the majority of last-mile deliveries to be carried out by much smaller micro vehicles. The Government already offers a subsidy of up to 20% of £8000 for e-vans, but believes that micro vehicles are a more congestion-friendly solution.
Norman said: “We are on the cusp of an exciting and profound change in how people, goods and services move around the country, which is set to be driven by extraordinary innovation. Our last mile call for evidence and Future of Mobility call for evidence mark just one stage in our push to make the most of these inviting opportunities.”
A call for evidence has been issued for the Government to gain understanding of how the plans could be implemented and what difficulties may be faced. The current norm of large, non-urban distribution centres being unsuitable for lower-range electric vehicles and e-bikes has already been identified.
The plan is still in its infancy, so no date has been put on when these micro vehicles could replace vans in city centres.
Under the plan, the Government also aims to scrap most urban parking spaces, with the need for them being diminished by shared mobility schemes.