The government is to seek EU agreement to allow drivers with category B (car) licences to drive vans up to 4.25 tonnes, provided they use alternative fuels.
The industry has been campaigning for such a change for some time. The current 3.5 tonne limit means that electric and hybrid vans are at a disadvantage as the battery pack takes up some of the available payload.
The plan has been welcomed by the Freight Transport Association. Environment policy manager Becki Kite said: “This will make it cheaper and easier for firms to include alternatively-powered vehicles in their fleets. It is an excellent example of how the government can use regulatory adjustments to help our industry implement more energy-efficient working practices.”