THE Government has changed the driver licence laws governing vans that are classified as an Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV).
Currently, a Category B driving licence allows drivers to drive a car or a van up to 3.5 tonnes.
Heavier vans require a Category C licence and require additional compliance with tachograph rules.
Not now, though, for AFVs. These are vans that run on either:
electricity, natural gas, biogas or hydrogen; or
hydrogen and electricity.
The weight limit has been increased to 4.25 tonnes. The Government says it has done this to encourage the take up of AFVs in its drive to cut pollution.
AFV commercials can often have a higher kerb weight thanks to items such as the battery. The new legislation takes account of that.
The licence changes apply equally to van fleets and to the self-employed.
There are some limitations. Drivers must carry out a minimum of five hours of AFV training by approved trainers; vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are subject to an annual MOT; and speed limiters (to 56mph) will be required for AFV commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes.
The new law comes as part of the government’s commitment to encourage the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles, as set out in the Road to Zero Strategy.
Future of Mobility Minister Jesse Norman said:
“The government’s Road to Zero Strategy sets out our ambition for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.
“By changing these driving licence requirements, we are seeking to support business owners by enabling them to use alternatively fuelled vehicles more easily. “
You can read the details of the licence requirements for AFVs here: Changes to licence requirements for Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles (AFVs).