Half of Londoners favour retailers using electric vans, our latest study finds

Photo by Mario La Pergola on Unsplash

Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental issues in cities – especially our hometown, London.

The city faces unprecedented levels of air pollution, which comes at a big risk to the people moving around it. Road transport is a massive contributor to the problem, which is why we’ve seen London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) come in, with plans in place to expand it. But the ULEZ alone isn’t enough – London needs fewer petrol and diesel vehicles on its roads.

If you ask us, electric vehicles are the solution for clean air in London. But we wanted to know what Londoners think, so we asked them – 1,001 of them, in fact.

Not only that, we wanted to find out how people want the delivery industry to change for the sake of air pollution, what Londoners understand about the realities of this monster problem, the cost of green deliveries and much more.

Here are the results (which, FYI, you can also find some of in the Evening Standard).

London wants greener deliveries

We found that nine in 10 (91%) people want to see an increase in green deliveries, with the majority of them (65%) wanting green deliveries to reduce air pollution (and 38% to reduce noise pollution).

And Londoners now care so much about the sustainability of delivery vehicles that almost half (46%) of the people we surveyed would choose a retailer that uses electric vans for deliveries over one using diesel or petrol power. On the other hand, just one in 20 people said they would prefer deliveries to come from a petrol or diesel van. Times are certainly changing!

All in all, 70% supported more EV deliveries to help the UK move away from petrol and diesel vehicles, with just one in five (22%) believing that companies using petrol or diesel delivery vehicles should be allowed to pass their inflated costs onto customers.

Cost is a barrier – but it could be coming down

Clearly all roads to a less polluted London should be lined with EVs, however we know there are big barriers to adoption. But what’s the biggest?

Over half of respondents (52%) said they thought the high price of electric vehicles was a barrier to clean air, while two in five (40%) said the number of charging points was another. These stumbling blocks are by now well known, and it seems that they may be on their way down: 37% felt that green deliveries would end up being cheaper anyway due to fuel inflation.

Most don’t know how deadly this problem is

London's air pollution is very sadly a fatal issue. According to the Greater London Authority, 4,000 Londoners die from polluted-related deaths every year.

Despite how tragically high this number is, it clearly still goes under the radar: fewer than one in four people (23%) that we spoke to knew it.

Still, people desperately want change. London needs the businesses and industries that call it home to change their ways for the folks they share it with.