TNB News

Routes and resolutions to success in 2023

05 January 2023 #TNB News

The new year brings a fresh opportunity to overcome the challenges that were experienced in the last, and it is no different for the LCV sector. While new figures published today by SMMT showing that while UK new van registrations declined -20.6% in 2022, there are causes for optimism and routes to take that will ensure we continue to deliver on our targets, whether business conditions are favourable or not.

The latest data shows some 282,139 new vans joined UK roads in 2022, following a year of strong post-pandemic fleet renewal in 2021. Despite robust order books throughout last year, deliveries were held back by persistent supply chain disruptions that have restricted production globally for more than two years now. It means that the market in 2022 was -22.9% down on pre-pandemic 2019, with the fewest LCV registrations since 2013. As global supply disruptions are expected to begin to ease as we move nearer to 2024, the latest market outlook anticipates a return to growth, with around 330,000 new vans registered this year.

Rising demand for battery electric vans remains positive, with deliveries up 31.2% to 16,744 units last year – meaning that four in 10 of all BEV vans ever registered in the UK were delivered last year, which is a noteworthy achievement for the industry. Action from all stakeholders is now needed in 2023 to ensure the UK can achieve its world leading targets for the end of sale of ICE vans. At 5.9% of the market, electric LCV uptake however remains some distance behind that of cars, with BEVs representing some 16.6% of the new car market.

BEV van registrations expected to rise by 60.7% in 2023, with a number of new BEV LCVs coming to market and opening up the product range, but unless charging infrastructure capacity can be increased and take into account rising numbers of electric vans, we are in danger of losing momentum. Further progress can be achieved by providing van-suitable chargepoints, to make owning and driving a van across every region of the UK accessible to all.

Registrations by segment, meanwhile, saw the most popular vans weighing greater than 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes fall by -14.4% last year, vans weighing greater than 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes declined by -31.0%, pickups by -30.4%, and 4x4s by -13.6%. Positively, although overall average new van CO2 emissions rose by 3.9% to 195.7g/km, this reflects a market shift towards larger vehicles that offer payload efficiencies, with most segments seeing a decline in average CO2 emissions.

As we return to growth in 2023, the LCV market is expected to deliver an extra £1.6 billion for the UK economy, and a further £2.4 billion next year. That is a significant contribution, but this crucial sector – which supports other vital industries in the British economy – also requires a fair fiscal plan, as well as the continuation of incentives, so that van buyers are encouraged to invest in fleet renewal with the latest technology and lead Britain’s switch to zero emission mobility.

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