Decreased Overall Adoption Despite Surge in Electric Van Production

The latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveals that, despite an overall market expansion, there was a decline of 11.9% in the demand for battery electric vans (BEVs) in June.

Despite the introduction of new electric van models, only 1,775 fully electric vans were registered, raising concerns about the slow uptake of electric vans in the UK. The total number of electric vans registered this year is 8,803 units, showing a year-on-year increase of 703 but a decline in market share to 5.2% in the year-to-date.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) emphasizes the importance of taking urgent action to accelerate the adoption of electric vans, especially with the approaching zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, which will be implemented in six months. The SMMT calls for a long-term plan that supports the purchase of electric vans and addresses the barriers to installing suitable charging infrastructure for vans.

One of the major obstacles to the wider adoption of electric vans is the lack of charging points that are suitable in size and location for vans. The SMMT highlights this issue as a significant challenge.

On a positive note, the overall UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market has shown growth for the sixth consecutive month. In June, it increased by 31%, with 34,630 units registered, making it the best June since 2019. In the first half of 2023, a total of 169,926 new vans, pickups, and 4x4s were registered, marking a 17.7% increase compared to the same period last year, as supply chain shortages eased.

Registrations of larger LCVs weighing over 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes increased by 15.6% in June, accounting for 68.3% of the market. Medium-sized vans weighing more than 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes saw a significant rise of 160.8% with 6,291 units registered. However, the demand for lighter vans weighing less than or equal to 2.0 tonnes declined by 42.8%, while pickups and 4x4s experienced substantial growth of 40.8% and 180.1% respectively.

Mike Hawes, the CEO of SMMT, expressed optimism about the surge in light commercial vehicle registrations, considering it good news for the market as we reach the midpoint of the year. However, he also stressed the need to address the slow uptake of electric vans and provide operators with more confidence to make the switch to electric vehicles.

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