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Latest figures show more support needed for van operators to make zero emission switch, says Logistics UK


The van market continues to grow, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) published Wednesday 5 June. However, uptake of zero emission vehicles remains slow.

There were 25,853 light commercial vehicles (LCVs) registered in May, a rise of 1.9% and the 17th consecutive month of growth for the LCV market. The growth in the market was fuelled by an 8.1% increase in the uptake of vans weighing more than 2.0 tonnes up to 2.5 tonnes with 4,477 units registered last month compared with 4,143 in May 2023.

Although subject to low numbers of registrations, vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes recorded the largest proportional growth, of 55.7% with 730 units registered last month compared with 469 in May last year.

As ever, most vehicle registrations last month came from the large vans weighing more than 2.5 tonnes up to 3.5 tonnes with 17,042 units compared with 17,173 for May 2023, which is a slight decline of -0.8%.

Overall, registrations for all vehicle segments are up in the year to date, including battery electric vans (BEVs) which saw an increase in registrations of 3.5% in May with 1,077 units registered compared to May 2023 when there were 1,041.

This means that BEVs reached a market share of 4.2% last month, almost unchanged since May 2023, when BEVs reached 4.1%. Whilst the increase is welcome, this segment is not growing at the pace required to meet the mandated Vehicle Emission Trading Scheme targets, which for each individual brand is set at 10% of sales for 2024.

Denise Beedell, Logistics UK’s Senior Policy Manager commented: “Another strong month for registrations of new vans in May is welcome news for the sector and indicates continued confidence by van operators as they continue to invest in their light vehicle fleets.

“However, whilst there was a small increase in the uptake of battery electric van registrations compared with last year, the figures clearly show that more needs to be done to support van operators make the switch to zero emission vehicles.

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“Whilst electrification is an available and well understood technology, operators are still grappling with making the business case for electrifying their van operations.

“Many challenges remain for widespread electrification of van fleets relating to acquisition costs, energy supply and regulation and these must be addressed as a matter of urgency by the next government to help van operators fully decarbonise their operations and meet net zero deadlines in time.”.

Published On: 05/06/2024 15:00:00

 

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