TNB News

Q3 CV registrations bring a tale of two stories

17 November 2022 #TNB News

Commercial vehicle market data for Q3 this week was tale of two stories, with HGV registrations enjoying substantial growth while bus and coach demand declined. However, there is overall optimism as we head into a busy November before the holiday season.

The number of newly registered HGVs grew by 30.1% – the best quarterly growth since Q3 2021 – to overcome a weaker first half of the year, to drive up overall volumes in year to date by 7.8%. That’s despite ongoing semiconductor and raw materials shortages, which have shown signs of easing this quarter, with deliveries on the rise as we move towards the Christmas peak.

Britain cannot sit on its laurels, however, with plans needed to bring greater uptake of zero emission HGVs, particularly investment in charging and refuelling infrastructure ahead of need.

Meanwhile, there was rather less positive news for the UK’s bus and coach market, with deliveries down -11.6% to 754 units in the quarter – some -43.7% below an already weak Q3 2019 amid a long-term fall in passenger numbers, which are yet to recover from the pandemic.

Single deck buses and double deckers, which are at the leading the way in urban zero emission mobility in Britain, both saw good growth, but this was not able to offset a significant decline in newly registered minibuses, the largest segment by volume.

There is cause for optimism, however, with bus orders via government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) fund now being placed in some areas and expected to bring an uptick in the market in 2023. However, just 17 local authorities have received support at present, with 48 areas still awaiting funding.

The fund is essential to ensuring that services and ZEV fleet renewal remain on course during very tough operating conditions. Funding must reach all areas of the UK in time for the sector to deliver on the UK’s ambitious net zero targets.

ZEV fleet renewal is particularly relevant today following the Chancellor’s announcement that electric van owners and buyers will pay VED from 2025. It represents a substantial additional annual cost and with a ZEV mandate incoming for van manufacturers, the introduction of taxes should support road transport decarbonisation, and the delivery of net zero, rather than threaten both the new and second-hand EV markets.

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