TNB News

Industry and government can ensure ZEV mass mobility for all

07 December 2022 #TNB News

The latest figures from SMMT this week showed the UK’s new van market fell by -22.2% in November, with 24,352 of the latest vehicles joining Britain’s roads. Despite strong order books throughout 2022, performance continues to be held back by global supply chain issues that are limiting production and availability.

Although the scale of the decline is artificially inflated in comparison with the best ever November performance in 2021, last month’s total is the lowest recorded for the month in nine years, and -13.9% below the pre-pandemic five-year average.

Light commercial vehicle registrations are estimated to rise by 13.8% in 2023, and BEV volumes to increase by 60.7% – to a market share of 8.7%. However, if the UK is going to harness the full benefit of this growth, government needs to take action to encourage greater uptake sooner rather than later, supporting BEV demand and crucial investment in suitable chargepoints across all UK regions – and that also means charging provision for every class of commercial vehicle.

Underlining that message in the capital this week was the Bus and Coach Industry All-Party Parliamentary Group showcase of UK-made zero emission buses near Westminster Pier – a stone’s throw from SMMT’s head office – where it was fantastic to see positive conversations taking place between the sector and MPs and ministers.

A clear message coming from the sector is the need for a long-term, reliable commitment from government to deliver on existing and future funding, and to invest in electric charging infrastructure – as well as hydrogen refuelling infrastructure –to give bus and coach operators the confidence to choose zero emission with their next major fleet investment.

Of course, investment must be provided to all regions of the UK, with London currently some way ahead of other regions in the roll-out of zero emission public road transport. Greater collaboration between the wider CV sector and government, that reflects the urgency of the targets being set for the sector, will ensure that zero emission mass mobility is a reality for people in every region of the UK.

“From left: SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes, Sir Robert Goodwill MP, and Ben Werth, Chief Commercial Officer at Wrightbus.”


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