Registering the need for growth

05 June 2024 #Uncategorised

SMMT’s new registration figures for vans, 4x4s and picks-ups show almost 26,000 of the very latest models joined Britain’s roads last month, slightly up 1.9% year on year, achieving the 17th consecutive month of growth in a row. It’s the best May performance since 2021 – which was the best May in history for the sector as business investment accelerated in the wake of the pandemic.

There was also an increase in battery electric LCVs below 3.5 tonnes joining UK roads in May – up by 3.5%. However, market share was still only 4.2% – well below the 10% sales quotas that vehicle manufacturers must achieve in 2024. We have not achieved that percentage in any month in 2024. The vehicle manufacturers have flexibilities within the vehicle trading scheme but at such an early stage of the scheme these might not want to be used so readily.

We’re already turning our attention to the next Parliament, and the support it will need to provide to enable the zero emission LCV market to mature, such as enacting legislation that was already being planned like the 4.25 tonne driver licence flexibility. This was proposed in October 2023 and was making its way through the secondary legislation process. SMMT will continue to engage with DfT and make the point that the 4.25 tonne legislation can help unblock the market for not only zero emission LCVs but van derived minibuses.

Finally, this week the SMMT Regional Forum took place in Liverpool, with many speakers saying the next Parliament needed to have a sustained plan for the drive to net zero that can go the distance. That plan must include incentives to stimulate the zero emission LCV market, the plug in van grant must continue as a minimum but also the charging infrastructure to power these vehicles at depots and enroute.

Harnessing the sustained growth in LCV demand, and converting more operators to go electric, will be crucial to the delivery of net zero.

Update Newsletter