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Chargepoint plan still needed says SMMT as new van sales grow for ninth month in row

  • UK new LCV market rises for ninth consecutive month
  • Sales were up by 28.1% to 44,760 units in September
  • Electric van uptake rises by 85.9% to 2,882 units
  • SMMT says chargepoint rollout must consider specific van needs

Time 11:20 am, October 5, 2023

Sales of new LCVs grew for the ninth consecutive month in September – rising by more than 28% with 44,760 joining UK roads, the SMMT said today.

Latest figures show the plate-change month saw robust demand round off almost 21% of growth in the year to date, with 257,979 units registered in the first nine months.

The largest vans – weighing 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes – remained the biggest market for new buyers, rising by 13% to 29,150 units.

However, deliveries of the smallest vans – under two tonnes – fell by 13.4% to 880 units.

Demand for battery-electric vans continued to be boosted by the plug-in van grant, competitive running costs and increasing model choice, with deliveries up by nearly 86% to 2,882 units.

That accounted for one in 16 new vans registered in the month.

The SMMT said that as a result, a record figure of 14,296 electric vans have been registered in the UK since January, commanding 5.5% of the overall market.

But it added that as manufacturers faced new zero-emission van sales quotas starting at 10% in January, there was a clear need for a national plan to give more van operators the confidence to make net zero investments.

In particular, it said the public charging infrastructure must be suitable for vans of all shapes and sizes so that van drivers – like their passenger car counterparts – could realise the full benefits of zero-emission motoring.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘Vans are irreplaceable workhorses that keep Britain on the move, so a bumper September capping nine months of growing fleet renewal is good news for the economy, the environment and society.

‘Decarbonising this sector is fundamental to the wider net zero transition, and as vans are business-critical, urgent measures are needed to grow operator confidence to invest now, in 2024 and beyond.

‘In particular, the specific needs of van operators must be considered when planning public charging strategies.’

The top-selling van was the Ford Transit Custom with 5,103 units. It was followed by its Transit stablemate at 3,470 sales and Vauxhall’s Vivaro at 3.086.

Pictured at top is the Ford Transit range

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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