CV sales up but EVs making slow progress

Sales of new light commercial vehicles rose by 19.9% in May as the market recorded its 17th consecutive month of growth.

More than 25,853 units were sold last month, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with growth fuelled by an 8.1% surge in the sale of vans weighing between 2.0t and 2.5t.

Large vans weighing 2.5t up to 3.5t again comprised the vast majority of the market (65.9%), with their sales falling slightly by 0.8%.

In terms of the industry’s shift to electrification, progress is continuing but at a slow pace. The sale of battery electric vans rose 3.5% in May but they still account for just a 4.2% market share, which is almost unchanged from last year’s 4.1%.

Across the year, BEV uptake has actually fallen 2.1%, with market share down from 5.2% to 4.8%.

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.”