Commercial vehicle market growth continues

The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew for the third consecutive month in March, rising by 17.3% to 47,634 units.

According to the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the growth was amplified by comparison with a weak March last year, when chronic supply chain shortages drove the market down by 27.6%.

Deliveries of battery electric vans continued to grow, up by 32.7% as an increasing choice of models makes switching to zero emission vehicles more compelling. Infrastructure remains the biggest barrier to uptake, however, with a paucity of charging points that are both suitable in size and location for van use.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “A solid first quarter of growth for the van market is a positive outcome, given the importance of vans in keeping Britain’s businesses on the move. These working vehicles are also essential in helping Britain decarbonise, so all barriers to uptake must be removed to accelerate fleet renewal. The most important requirement now is the urgent development of widespread and dependable van-suitable charging infrastructure to bolster operator confidence to make the switch.”