In November 2020, the UK government announced that sales of new petrol and diesel vans will be banned from 2030. This accelerated the work of van operators to identify where Alternatively-Fuelled Vehicles (AFVs) can be most sensibly and easily introduced into their business and led van manufacturers to bring forward the availability of AFVs.
Reflecting this rapid shift from ICE to alternative fuels, over 1,300 van drivers have already received expert AFV driver training from NRI-registered instructors. They’ve undertaken the one-day NRI course designed to give them key knowledge about Alternatively-Fuelled Vehicles (AFVs) and introduce the different driving techniques needed to be a safe, efficient and responsible AFV driver.
The course is a legal requirement for van operators who wish to take advantage of the legislation introduced in 2018 which allows holders of Category B driving licences, normally restricted to vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes, to drive vans of up to 4.25 tonnes if they are powered by an alternative fuel, recognising that AFVs can have an increased kerb weight compared with their conventionally fuelled counterparts. The rules cover vans powered by electricity, natural gas, biogas or hydrogen or hydrogen and electricity.
NRI-registered instructors must deliver a course which is aligned to the syllabus developed by DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) and DfT (Department for Transport) which covers the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to be a safe and responsible driver of an AFV. Many instructors use the NRI training materials for Alternatively Fuelled Vehicle Training, which includes an Instructor PowerPoint. This is currently available at £35 +VAT. To order your training materials, contact the NRI team here.
The certificate issued to each driver on completion of training shows that the driver has completed the training and is therefore driving legally. Third parties who might need that evidence are; insurance companies, employers, and the police. Anyone found driving an alternatively fuelled vehicle between 3.5 tonnes and 4.25 tonnes on a Category B licence without having done the 5 hours training would be guilty of an offence under the Road Traffic Act (1988). The certification fee is £15 + VAT.
For further guidance, learn more about training for drivers of alternatively fuelled vehicles, learn about how AFV training can affect you as an employer or driver, or if you are an existing NRI Instructor, learn more about the guidance you need to follow in order to use this new legislation.
Article written by Tom Ray, NRI Manager of the National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI).