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As diesel light commercial registrations increase EV LCVs fail to keep pace

NFDA 05/12/2023

“It has been encouraging to see further growth in the light commercial registration market but it is disappointing to see that electric vans have failed to increase as we approach the implementation of the ZEV mandate in January” said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK commenting on the latest SMMT’s new passenger van registration figures.

In November, Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) dealers registered a total of 27,433 new vans and light commercials, an increase of 12.7%. This is the eleventh consecutive month of registration growth. Year-to-date figures reveal 311,754 new LCVs are on the road this year, an increase of 19.8%.

The heavier sectors of LCVs have improved substantially, with 2.0-2.5t sized vans rising to 4,554 units from 1,744 units, a staggering 161.1% increase. The heavier, and most popular sized vans (2.5-3.5t) fell to 18,070 units from 18,367 units, a -1.6% decrease.

November’s registration figures experienced a decrease in the number of battery electric commercials registered, down -17.4% to 1,631 units. Whilst the volume for EV vans has increased to 17,289 units this year (15% change year to date), it still only represents 5.5% of the market of the total market share.

Sue Robinson added: “In terms of the heavier sections of LCVs, there appears to be less cause for concern as this is very much a fleet market which year to date has seen an increase of 9.4%.

“There is often not much discussion on the 3.5 – 6.0t CV market but it is positive to see a modest growth in registrations. These vehicles are usually classed as small HGVs and are subject to stringent regulations including requiring tachographs and ATF annual testing.

“Nevertheless, as we go into new year, there needs to be more incentives from the Government to increase demand for EV commercials  and encourage van operators to buy them. We have seen a similar decrease in BEV car registrations this month and it is clear that more government support is necessary in the form of greater subsidies and improving EV public LCV charging facilities.”

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About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.