The evolution of the commercial vehicle

14th November 2019
Anna Flockett

Commercial vehicles have long been thought of as ‘white van’ jobs or huge vehicles that are taking up space on our roads due to the sheer volume of them. It’s also been said that HGVs were among the main sources of pollution in urban areas. However, that simply isn’t the case. Here, we will look at how commercial vehicles have improved over the years and how some have even been transformed to become an entrepreneur’s dream business space.

What is a commercial vehicle?

Firstly, it’s important to decipher what a commercial vehicle is. According to the Collins dictionary, a commercial vehicle is ‘a vehicle that is licensed to be used for the transportation of goods or materials rather than passengers. The point of any commercial vehicle is to be of service to the business’.

Emergency services

Did you know that emergency services also use various CV vehicles? That means that the 17,228 ambulances that are on our streets and carrying upwards of five million people to A&E each year are commercial vehicles too.

SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said: “There are five million commercial vehicles on Britain’s roads and they play a vital role in powering our essential services. Britain’s CVs are the backbone of our economy, and manufacturers invest heavily in technology, with the latest CVs on our roads today the cleanest, safest and most advanced in history. For the sector to grow and continue to drive investment and jobs, the government must maintain the right economic conditions, and help promote fleet renewal through the right policies and incentives.”

The rise of quirky businesses

Ford vehicles have long been the choice for manual labour workers. The Ford Transit Connect has won many awards over the years thanks to its versatility and reliability. However, it is with the likes of the Ford Transit full-size van where entrepreneurs are turning their attention. As it is available in three body lengths and three roof heights, it provides the perfect space to create a portable cooking space.

It also has 487.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity, meaning you can keep stocked up and have plenty of room for the essentials, such as grills, prep stations and fridges. Better yet, the height of the vehicle means that anyone under 6ft4 can easily stand up when cooking. This has led to the rise of fast-food ventures in quirky vehicles.

Everyday uses

It’s not just quirky businesses which have us revelling over commercial vehicles, though. Studies have found that 88% of British consumers think that a reduced or restricted service from CV-driven services would have a detrimental impact on their quality of life. This includes rubbish collection, online deliveries and sending and receiving post. Each year, nearly 15 billion letters are delivered via CV vehicles, while 325 million tonnes of food products are also transported by road annually.

This can include supermarket lorries, as well as deliveries from couriers such as Hello Fresh and Muscle Food. Such online purchases meant the UK spent £67.3bn on goods and services online in 2017.

It's clear that commercial vehicles have evolved into a huge part of our society. Not only are they part of our everyday life, but even at the end of their life they are still being transformed into business models.

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