Friday, June 21, 2024

Charging infrastructure vital to help next generation of vans, says shadow business minister.

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The government must provide the infrastructure that the logistics sector needs to deliver for the future, according to the Shadow Minister for Business and Industrial Strategy.

Speaking earlier this week at Logistics UK’s Next Generation Van conference, Bill Esterson MP shared his views on industry’s transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs) and the challenges business are currently facing with costs and infrastructure accessibility.  

Esterson said Labour’s industrial strategy would create stability for logistics businesses and ensure the UK is self-sufficient in cheap, renewable electricity.

“Labour will ensure that charging infrastructure is widely available, that depots can connect to the grid and that incentives are available so that it makes sense to transition to electric,” he pledged.

“We will be partners with industry to develop and implement the plans needed to meet the challenge of decarbonisation.” 

Denise Beedell, senior policy manager, at Logistics UK, said van operators and businesses were keen to decarbonise and make a smooth transition to EVs – but they continue to face barriers with significant costs for increasing adequate power supplies and installing the required charging infrastructure at their depots.

“They also need to have confidence that the public chargepoint network will be able to accommodate their electric vehicles,” she said.

“Bays at public electric vehicle charging points are often too small to accommodate commercial vehicles, or are unavailable because they are in use or are broken.

“The pace of the roll out of suitable public charging infrastructure must be accelerated and appropriate fiscal measures put in place to support our industry in meeting decarbonise deadlines to ensure our sector can continue to deliver all that the economy requires.” 

The logistics industry is key to the UK’s economic survival, employing 2.7m people and contributing £163 billion to the UK economy.

Beedell continued: “it is vital that industry and government work together to ensure a greener transition to EVs, creating prosperity and lowers costs in the process, to enable logistics business to invest in EVs and infrastructure with confidence.” 

Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods.

The organisation says that with decarbonisation, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc.

Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. 

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