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Stellar April 2024 for van market but electric van registrations down on last year

According to figures published on Tuesday 7 May by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK demand for new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) rose by 5.4% in April 2024 – the 16th consecutive month of growth for the sector.

The growth across the market was underpinned by registrations of 15,714 LCV models (up 3.3% compared with April 2023) in the 2.5 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes bracket, accounting for almost two thirds (65.8%) of all LCV registrations.

Deliveries of medium-sized vans grew by 6.8% to 4,611 units, while the biggest percentage increase was for the smallest vans, up 41.1% with 604 units – albeit still representing just 2.5% of the market.

However, the picture is not so rosy for zero emission LCVs, which saw a decline on registrations with battery electric van (BEV) uptake falling to 861 units, down -42.7% compared with last year’s uptick in demand.

This means that BEVs accounted for just 3.6% of all new LCV registrations compared with 6.6% in April last year. The industry’s latest market outlook expects the UK’s new van market to grow by 3.3% to 353,000 units in 2024, while BEV market share has been revised down to 8.3%, from 9.4% in the January outlook.

Denise Beedell, Senior Policy Manager at Logistics UK said, “The buoyant new van market demonstrates operator confidence in the LCV sector and means that more fuel-efficient models are entering the market.

“However, the continued decline in new battery electric vans (BEVs), must be reversed very soon if we are to meet net zero deadlines.

“This will only happen when fleet operators have confidence that the infrastructure and energy supply for charging eVans will be available and fit for purpose, the appropriate fiscal support is in place and the issues surrounding mismatched regulations for driving 4.25 tonne BEVs have been addressed.

“This month’s figures are a clear indication that Logistics UK’s partnership with BVRLA, AFP, Recharge UK and The EV CafĂ© with the Zero Emission Van Plan is vital for ensuring our van fleets are supported to make the transition to zero emission vehicles.”


Published On: 08/05/2024 14:00:00


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News In Brief

John Lewis joins Project JOLT to trial electric HGV

A new initiative to help freight operators decarbonise their fleet will see electric heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) trialled across the UK.

Called Project JOLT (Joint Operator Logistics Trial), the programme is being led by the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (SRF) and involves John Lewis Partnership, Volvo Trucks UK, and Flexible Power Systems, a software company specialising in fleet management optimisation software for electric vehicles (EVs), amongst others.

JOLT partners will pool data and learning from their experiences with electric HGVs in retail, delivery, and manufacturing operations to help develop transition plans for their own businesses and for the wider logistics industry.

Professor Philip Greening, an expert in sustainable transport and logistics at Heriot-Watt University and co-director of the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, said: “A key feature of this project is understanding how the different range and load capabilities of electric heavy goods vehicles – as well as downtime for charging – will affect the efficiency of operators and supply chains.”

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