Iveco believes changes to LCV tonnage for category B licence holders will boost demand for alternative fuelled light commercial vehicles.
Iveco has welcomed The Government consultation to extend the gross vehicle weight (gvw) allowance for alternative fuel light commercial vehicles (LCVs) which can be driven by standard Category B licence holders from 3.5 tonnes to 4.25 tonnes.
Current UK legislation states that a driver needs a C1 category licence to drive a vehicle with a gvw over 3.5 tonnes. The proposal is to increase that allowance by 0.75 tonnes, so drivers with a Category B licence can operate alternative fuel LCVs up to 4.25 tonnes, without needing to complete additional training, sit a new licence test and undergo medical examinations. This is in line with the current 3.5t gvw plus 750kg trailer allowed with a category B licence.
The additional weight allowance will effectively offset the increased weight of the powertrain on natural gas and electric vehicles, meaning they can carry at least the same weight of goods as conventional 3.5 tonne diesel vehicles.
Martin Flach, Iveco’s Alternative Fuels Director, said: “Increasingly, customers are looking seriously at low-emission LCVs but at 3.5 tonnes, vehicles are usually critical on payload and it has resulted in a much lower take-up of vehicles than we would have liked.
“It’s always seemed nonsensical that companies keen to implement innovative technology that is better for the environment, should be penalised on payload and have to pay for additional driver training.
“As a key alternative fuels vehicle manufacturer that truly believes in sustainable transport, Iveco has been campaigning on this issue for several years so we’re delighted with the proposal that has been made.”
He added: “If the plan is accepted, we firmly believe it would quickly boost the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles and consequently improve air quality. The vehicles are available, we just need the government to ensure businesses are being given the opportunity to make the most of them.”
According to Iveco, which has invested heavily in LNG fuelled vehicle technology, natural gas is the single most efficient technical solution available to solve pollution-related problems in urban areas, making it the only true alternative to petrol and diesel fuels. In terms of emissions, it is a ‘clean fuel’, emitting up to 10 per cent less CO2, 35 per cent fewer NOx, and 95 per cent less particulate matter than its diesel equivalent.
Iveco has been developing a market for natural gas vehicles since 1996. Its Daily Natural Power LCV meets latest Euro VI emissions legislation, and is unique in the market as it is powered by a dedicated natural gas-powered engine, which can be run on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or compressed bio-methane (CBM).
Iveco’s Daily Electric offers urban operators a 100 per cent electric, zero tailpipe emissions vehicle that guarantees maximum sustainability. The vehicle’s Iveco-patented flexible charging mode allows customers to recharge the vehicle by connecting it to a fast-charging station for an average charge time of just two hours – coupled with an extended range of up to 280km (174 miles).
The consultation is open until 18 October 2017. See more information on the consultation at “Have your say on commercial AFV regulation changes”