Record electric van sales shows infrastructure need

A UK record 14,296 electric vans have been registered since January this year, with such vehicles now making up 5.5% of the overall market, according to the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 

But the statistics also comes as manufacturers face new zero emission van sales quotas starting at 10% in January 2024, revealing the need for a national plan for van operators. In particular, public charging infrastructure must be suitable for vans of all shapes and sizes in order for van drivers to benefit, according to the SMMT.

The Plug-in Van Grant saw deliveries up 85.9% to 2,882 units – accounting for one in 16 new vans registered in the month. With 25 zero emission van models now available in the UK, these vehicles already carry out a wide range of roles for operators, from local businesses to some of the country’s largest organisations.

The news comes as the overall light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew for the ninth month in a row in September – up 28.1% to 44,760 vans, pickups and 4x4s being registered.

September is traditionally popular due to the number plate change with demand growing around 20.8% for the year to date with more than quarter of a million (257, 979) vans registered in the first nine months of 2023. Larger vans were the most popular – rising 13% – but medium sized vans also grew by 89% while smaller vans fell by 13.4%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Vans are irreplaceable workhorses that keep Britain on the move, so a bumper September capping nine months of growing fleet renewal is good news for the economy, the environment and society.

“Decarbonising this sector is fundamental to the wider net zero transition and, as vans are business critical, urgent measures are needed to grow operator confidence to invest now, in 2024 and beyond. In particular, the specific needs of van operators must be considered when planning public charging strategies.”

Image from Shutterstock

Sign up for our essential
newsletter service.

Enter your details here.