Electric vans at Vauxhall's plant in Ellesmere Port. Peter Byrne_PA Archive_PA ImagesElectric vans at Vauxhall's plant in Ellesmere Port. Peter Byrne_PA Archive_PA Images


LCV market grows for 13th month in row as 60,000th electric van joins UK roads

  • UK new van registration volumes rise 8.4% to 23,962 units in best January for three years
  • LCV demand enters second year of growth
  • Electric van uptake jumps 19.4% to 1,186 registrations
  • More than 60,000 electric vans have joined UK roads since 2018
  • But SMMT says green uptake must grow faster

Time 12:18 pm, February 5, 2024

Demand for LCVs rose by more than 8% last month as 23,962 vehicles joined UK businesses and company fleets, it was revealed today.

That was an 8.4% year-on-year rise, said the SMMT, and marked 13 months of growth in a row.

It was also the highest January total since 2021’s figure of 24,209, which the SMMT said reflected the growing role of vans in Britain’s economy, from local trades and deliveries to national retailers.

New van registrations are also increasingly zero emission, as demand for new battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) grew to 1,186 units in January – up by 19.4% on the same month last year.

That means some 60,517 new battery-electric vans have joined Britain’s roads since 2018, as access to the plug-in van grant helps firms reduce their carbon footprint and cut their carbon emissions.

But the SMMT warned that demand must accelerate even more rapidly, with volumes expected to grow from 5.9% of the market in 2023 to 9.4% this year, which is slightly short of the government’s 10% target mandate.

Flexibilities in the Vehicle Emissions Trading Scheme will allow manufacturers to offset this initial shortfall, but the softening demand underlined the need for greater investment in public charging infrastructure for vans of all sizes, said the SMMT, highlighting it as the biggest barrier to faster battery-electric van rollout.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘More than a year of growth shows the importance of vans to Britain’s economy, and surpassing 60,000 electric vans is a crucial step in our net zero journey.

‘Industry is ready to deliver a mass market transition but buyer demand must increase massively, requiring everyone to play their part.

‘Ramping up dedicated public van charging infrastructure in particular is essential for all UK businesses to be confident of making the switch, sooner rather than later.’

January’s best-selling LCV was the Ford Transit Custom at 2,656 units, It was followed by the Transit at 1,898 and Vauxhall Vivaro at 1,612.

Making up the rest of the month’s top 10 were the Citroen Berlingo (1,598), Ford Ranger (1,484), Volkswagen Transporter (1,264), Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (1,235), Toyota Hilux (1,161), Peugeot Partner (789) and Ford Transit Connect (661).

Pictured at top are electric vans at Vauxhall’s plant in Ellesmere Port. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images

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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