Alternatively-Fuelled Vans

Alternatively-Fuelled Vans

The announcement that new cars and vans that run on petrol or diesel will be banned in the UK by 2040 has sparked some controversy. Some campaigners say 2040 isn’t soon enough, while others argue that a ban is the wrong approach.

Development of technology is largely consumer-led. If no-one wants to buy a product, then manufacturers won’t make it and since, (until now) there has been little interest in electric commercial vehicles, research and development has been slow.

Although there have been some advancements in the technology, electric vans still have a greater kerb weight than their conventional counterparts and weight is a serious issue.

A category B licence allows drivers to drive vehicles up to 3,500kg, so with a fleet of 3.5T vans, a mover can avoid the need for expenses such as an Operator’s Licence and Driver CPCs.

As mentioned in earlier newsletters, the risk of overloading a conventional 3.5T van is considerable. If electric vans have a greater unladen weight, then manufacturers are forced to decrease the volume in order to keep the viable laden weight under 3,500kg. Since most companies will choose a van based on (among other things) how much it can carry, interest in and uptake of electric vans is suffering.

The solution to this problem is to increase the authorized weight of electric vehicles that can be driven on a category B licence.

There is currently a proposal to allow alternatively-fuelled vehicles up to a maximum authorised weight of 4,250kg to be driven on a category B driving licence within the UK and to exempt those drivers from the current DCPC rules.

This would make alternatively-fuelled vehicles a viable option for the smaller mover and those currently using 3.5T vans to avoid Driver CPC costs.

If interest in alternatively-fuelled (including electric) vehicles is increased, then manufacturers will have a reason to invest more in research and development. So, the target of removing petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 will become plausible.

You can read the full consultation document here.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, annual Fuel Duty collected is around £27.6 billion. This figure will be reduced over time as more people abandon convention fuels. There has been no announcement on how that revenue will be replaced.

Cybercrime and Small Business

Recent studies suggest that around half of all UK small businesses are hit by cybercrime each year.

The crimes range from intellectual property theft to hijacking complete office systems via ransomware.

Most cybercrimes are avoidable with a few simple precautions.

Here are our 5 top tips on Cybercrime Prevention.

1) Update virus protection and malware protection software every day. This should be the first task performed when the office computers are turned on.

2) Remind all staff that they should only open email attachments if they are from a trusted source and are expected.

3) Update passwords regularly. Use combinations of letters, numbers and special characters (for example Tk4!o3.W). Use a different password for each account.

4) Only allow access to the appropriate members of staff.

5) Create regular back-ups of all data. Back-ups should be stored isolated from the main network.

There is no guaranteed way to prevent cybercrime, but taking precautions will reduce the risk.

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