Electric trucks and vans cut pollution faster than cars

The clock may be ticking for petrol and diesel-powered cars, but it's vans, trucks and buses that are driving the electric vehicle revolution on the world's roads. This week the UK government followed France in announcing it would ban the sale of such vehicles by 2040, while the mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens plan to banish diesels from their city centres by 2025. Almost all car makers now offer hybrid cars and many sell fully electric vehicles. But the electric charge also extends to vans and trucks, and the need to switch to cleaner engines is even greater given that these larger vehicles are far bigger polluters than cars. "In Europe, less than 5% of vehicles are commercial vehicles or heavy duty trucks, but they contribute to almost 20% of greenhouse gas emissions," says Ananth Srinivasan, mobility expert with research consultancy Frost & Sullivan. Even in a country with wide open spaces like Australia, the electric wave is rolling out. Melbourne-based logistics firm Kings Transport recently bought nine electric vans and light trucks from SEA Automotive. SEA chief executive Tony Fairweather says his firm realised a few years ago that electric commercial vehicles were becoming economically viable much faster than predicted.