Van market rounds off difficult half year

07 July 2022 #Uncategorised

What a difference a week makes in the world of politics, however, in the commercial vehicle sector we continue to face the same and familiar challenges.

The UK van market fell -23.0% year-on-year in June, seeing out a difficult first half of 2022 with registrations down every month.

This put the half-year total at 144,384 new vans, pickups and 4x4s, down by almost a quarter (-24.6%) compared with the same period last year.

The familiar foe of global supply chain shortages, most obviously semiconductors, are to blame, while demand remains robust and van manufacturers do their utmost to fulfil deliveries amidst issues that are not entirely within our control.

This is particularly the case with electric vans, as manufacturers prioritise their availability to meet growing demand, up 52.4% and continuing to provide a bright spot for the sector. However, this represents only one in 13 new van registrations this year.

As van manufacturers are working extremely hard to deliver plug-in electric models, with one in three van models now available with a plug, it is only fair that the sector would expect the infrastructure to be in place to enable these vehicles to work, but there remains considerable ground to make up.

This is what consumers rightfully expect too and, as a recent SMMT survey found, the majority of van owners are anxious about making the switch due to concerns they will not be able to charge their vehicle where they want, when they want.

It is no surprise then that the industry continues to call for action on van-suitable charging infrastructure to boost uptake of the latest, greenest vans ahead of looming zero emission deadlines.

With the chip shortage likely to continue into 2023 and perhaps even 2024, constraining the new van market and switch to electric, now is the ideal time to provide suitable chargepoint infrastructure, ahead of need, so that we are on track once we find ourselves in a better supply environment and more normal trading conditions.

Indeed, we are not in the most certain of moments to be calling for UK policy measures, but another ongoing issue that can be resolved is GB Type Approval. We need to be able to have the confidence that processes of approvals, conformity and reports from other tech services will work smoothly.

Any certainty that we can glean in these difficult times will help with long-term planning as we move into the second half of 2022. Here’s to hoping that it will look somewhat different than the first, both less eventful and more fruitful.

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