CV sales soar despite EV slump

The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market has risen for the sixth consecutive month, growing by 31% to 34,630 units in the best June since 2019.

This is according to the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

So far, 169,926 new vans, pickups and 4x4s were registered in the first half of 2023, up 17.7% compared with the same period last year.

Despite overall growth, demand for battery electric vans fell 11.9% in the month to 1,775 units, even with a growing number of models on the market. This brings the total of all electric vans registered so far this year to 8,803 units, a year on year increase of 703 but a market share decline to 5.2% in the year to date.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “As we reach the year’s midway mark, the surge in light commercial vehicle registrations is good news and delivers continued optimism to the market. The fall in electric van uptake just at the time when we need it to grow is, however, very concerning. Despite the continued availability of the plug-in van grant, more needs to be done to give operators the confidence to make the switch. This means a long-term plan which supports purchase and helps overcome some of the barriers to the installation of van-suitable charging infrastructure, given the unique needs of this sector.”