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Electric van market grows by a fifth, but overall LCV market falls by a quarter

Demand for electric vans bucked the trend in a falling market for LCVs as registrations grew by more than a fifth (21.4%), in January, according to figures released last week (4 February 2022) by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A record 647 electric vans were registered during the month, accounting for 3.7% of the overall light commercial vehicle (LCV) market. Electric van uptake is predicted to climb by 81.3% to 23,130 units during 2022 as a result of key new model launches. If this prediction is realised, electric vans will represent 6.4% of the LCV market, compared with 3.6% or 12,759 units in 2021, accounting for around one in 16 new vans in 2022. Electric van registrations are predicted to rise a further 57.6% in 2023, to a market share of 9.4%.

The number of registrations of all types of new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) was less favourable, however, falling by more than a quarter (26.9%) during the month.

The weakest start to a year since 2013, the decline follows what was the best January for 31 years last year (2021), when new models and compelling deals saw registrations reach 24,029 units, up 2.0% even on a pre-pandemic January 2020.

Newly registered small vans, weighing less than or equal to two tonnes, more than halved while medium-sized vehicles over 2.5 tonnes, representing two-thirds of the LCV market, fell by almost a third (29.8%).

SMMT’s latest market outlook forecasts the LCV sector to grow 2.0% overall in 2022, to 362,620 units. This would put the market just shy of the 365,778 vehicles registered in 2019 and only 3.5% below the sector’s record year of 2016.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “With more battery powered vans coming to market, the demand for these new technologies seen in January is likely to continue across the year. With uptake rates still lagging the new car market, which has the same end of sale date, the importance of bringing every lever – purchase incentives, fiscal measures and recharging infrastructure investment – to bear on this critical sector is self-evident.”

Denise Beedell, Public Policy Manager, Logistics UK, said: “These latest figures from SMMT on electric van registrations show the industry’s willingness to transition to zero tailpipe emission vehicles at pace. If the Society’s predictions that the share of electric van registrations will rise to close to one in ten of all LCVs sold next year are realised, it will mark an important milestone in the logistics sector’s journey towards net zero emissions.”


Published On: 10/02/2022 16:00:52


In brief


Denise Beedell, Public Policy Manager, Logistics UK, is a new entry in Greenfleet’s list of the 100 most influential people working in the decarbonisation of fleet and transport in 2022. Entering the list at number 21, Beedell helps deliver Logistics UK’s policy agenda on urban and environmental issues, and leads policy work on vans.


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