Van market grows but electric LCV sales are stalling

The UK van market continued to grow in May 2024, but sales of electric vans have flatlined leading the member of the Zero Emission Van Plan to call for action to reduce purchase costs and improve infrastructure.

Registrations rose by 1.9% to reach 25,853 units in the month – the best May figure in three years – but was driven by increased demand in the mid-size vans, 2.0 tonnes to 2.5 tonne, which rose 8.1%, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Light vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes recorded the largest proportional growth, rising 55.7%, but this was largely due to replacement cycles of four of the most popular models limiting supply in prior months.

Large vans weighing 2.5 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes saw a decline of 0.8% but continued to account for the vast majority of the market at 65.9%. The Ford Transit retained its position as the top seller.

Sales of battery electric vans (BEVs) rose 3.5% in May to achieve a 4.2% market share – almost unchanged from last year’s 4.1%. But for the year to date, BEV registrations have fallen by 2.1%, meaning a 4.8% market share, down from 5.2%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The UK van market’s 17-month run of growth is playing a crucial part in renewing the fleet with the latest, cleanest vehicles. However, convincing businesses that now is the time to switch to zero-emission operations remains a challenge.

“With an expanding choice for every use case now available, the next government must take steps to recharge the zero-emission van market, an essential part of the net zero economy every party wants.”

Meanwhile, the industry coalition behind the Zero Emission Van Plan said fundamental barriers are preventing eLCV adoption and need urgent attention.

A spokesperson said: “The ZEV mandate has been introduced to stimulate supply, but demand is lagging. Electric LCVs are too expensive and struggle to cope with the operational needs of many van fleets, particularly when it comes to charging.

“The Zero Emission Van Plan is clear. For the transition to work, we need increased fiscal support, improved charging and the removal of regulatory barriers.”



Ask HJ

Does the Ford Transit Custom have problems with dual mass flywheel?

Does the Ford Transit Custom have problems with dual mass flywheel. If so at what mileage?
The Ford Transit in manual transmission form has been fitted with a dual mass flywheel since the early 2000s, but it's not a major known failure point on the vans. Generally a DMF will last the life of the clutch at the very least - around 100,000 miles depending on how it has been driven. Clutch and DMF replacement on the Ford Transit is generally less expensive than on passenger cars as well as access is far easier. The labour time for the job books at 3-4 hours, so at an industry average rate of £80 an hour (independent) banks on £360 + VAT plus parts - around £700 in total to do the job if needed.
Answered by Craig Cheetham
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