Future potential of electric freight lorries revealed at Ipswich event

PUBLISHED: 20:42 18 June 2019

A TEVVA electric truck  Picture: EMMA CLIFTON

A TEVVA electric truck Picture: EMMA CLIFTON

Emma Clifton/Ashtons Legal

Only a tiny fraction of businesses are aware of the potential of electric freight transport, a straw poll at a conference in Ipswich suggests.

Senior traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt addressing  the transport conference  Picture: EMMA CLIFTONSenior traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt addressing the transport conference Picture: EMMA CLIFTON

Around 100 delegates attended a road transport briefing at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on Thursday, June 13, which was hosted by law firm Ashtons Legal, where they were shown an electric lorry in action.

Among the subjects discussed were the possibilities for electric freight transport and driverless freight vehicles.

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Chelmsford-based electric truck maker Tevva offered an overview of the latest position around the capability of electric freight transport and its future potential.

But a straw poll of delegates suggested only 2 or 3% of delegates had actively thought about this as a viable option for their businesses, although many expressed an interest.

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The briefing also heard from senior traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt and a representative from the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency.

Delegates were warned of a clampdown on vehicles with non-compliant brake checks, and shown the ease with which commercial vehicles can now be tracked around the country using Automated Number Plate Recognition. The conference also discussed lorries running into bridges because of inadequate guidance to drivers.

Two key themes highlighted by Ashtons lawyers were complexities around the employment status of many drivers and an increasing problem of late payment and bad debt affecting businesses.

Leading regional transport law specialist Tim Ridyard of Ashtons said: "The impact of changes facing the industry from both a compliance perspective and with new technology only add to the pressures being faced by the transport sector.

"This, coupled with the uncertainty over Brexit, presents continuing challenges, but we believe with the right advice, guidance and support these are not insurmountable."

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