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BRC calls on government to accelerate use of green goods vehicles

By Huw Hughes

25 May 2021


Image: FashionUnited

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has called on the government to encourage the take-up of green technologies and reduce emissions from goods vehicles.

The British trade representative wrote to the secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps suggesting financial incentives, such as a zero percent VAT rate for new green vehicle purchases, could “greatly boost” the uptake of green vehicles.

The BRC also recommended improved infrastructure, such as the accelerated roll-out of public charging and fuelling stations, and legislation of timescales for phasing out diesel and petrol-fuelled heavy goods vehicles.

“Retailers are making progress to address this issue, but without government intervention to generate faster adoption of green vehicles, it will not be possible for the industry to reach its 2035 net-zero target,” the BRC said.

It comes after a new report by BearingPoint, commissioned by the BRC and DP World as part of the BRC’s Climate Action Roadmap, found 88 percent of retailers operating in-house fleets have some type of green fuelled vehicle, but only one-quarter of these were operating them on a large scale.

Peter Andrews, head of sustainability at the BRC, said in a release: “Retailers and fleet operators are making decisions in the next few years about the vehicles that will be operating in 2030 and beyond.

“This is why it’s so important to make sure that green fuel options are not only available but invested in. Government has a key part to play, not just in encouraging the take up of these technologies, but also in supporting further research and development in this area. If the UK is to become a world leader in the transition to net-zero, we need action today.”