The arrival of ‘new plate month’ in March brought with it large volumes and continued growth for Britain’s new van market, with registrations up 17.3% and some 47,634 units joining UK roads, new SMMT figures show. The year-on-year uplift reflects the gradual easing of global supply chain shortages that heavily constricted deliveries this time last year.
As a result, demand for new vans was met across all segments, with registrations of vans weighing greater than 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes rising by 66.3%, while vans weighing 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes grew by 4.9%. There was a -24.6% decline in smaller vans, however, which reflects broader trends towards favouring larger units, enabling operators to increase their payload efficiency. The overall growth means that Q1 2023 was up by 17.4% on last year, however, the market remains -15.1% below Q1 in pre-pandemic 2019 – evidence that we’re not out of the woods just yet.
Battery electric van (BEV) demand continues its upward trajectory, rising by 32.7%, encouraged in no small part by a growing choice of models that make zero emission motoring even more compelling. It is clear that the lack of van-suitable infrastructure across Britain remains the biggest barrier to increased demand, and with the publication last week of a Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate – due to come into force in less than nine months – it is now time for chargepoint providers to step up to the challenge and deliver vital infrastructure for van drivers and the wider CV sector.
Many of the manufacturers that are driving change across the CV sector will be attending this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show and we are not long away from the event, which takes place at the NEC, Birmingham from 18-20 April. The return of the popular Truck Zone will showcase latest hydrogen, electric and alternatively fuelled vehicles on exhibition, and we are delighted to announce that Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Scania will now share the floor with HVS, Iveco, Renault Trucks and Volta Trucks. During the last year, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have gained more attention as a viable solution for long-haul logistics, and there will be opportunities to see them up close.
Elsewhere, a number of exhibitors will launch brand-new vehicles and products at the show, including zero emission light commercial vehicles, along with a range of specialist component suppliers that will draw back the red curtain to showcase their new auxiliary equipment.
Myself and the SMMT team will be available on our stand throughout the show to answer any questions about our activities, to discuss our new and upcoming report, or simply to provide a hot beverage.
There is still time to register for the show, which can be done here. I look forward to seeing you all there.