Battery electric van registrations up 15% since January


According to SMMT data, battery electric van (BEV) registrations are up 15.0% since January. 17,289 BEVs have joined UK roads in 2023, accounting for almost one in 18 new vans registered across the year.

However, data for November shows that battery electric van registrations fell for the second month, as 1,631 units were registered – some 343 fewer than in November last year.

The SMMT says that the recent stall in demand, therefore, underscores the importance of measures that encourage van operators to invest in the benefits that zero emission technology offers, from lower CO2 emissions to increased performance, and potentially lower running costs.

The most pressing priority, SMMT says, is swift action to delay tough Rules of Origin requirements that will place tariffs on BEVs traded across the Channel from 1 January – potentially reducing choice and affordability. With four in five (83.6%) BEVs registered this year originating in the EU, and the UK increasing its BEV exports, the new rules pose a clear threat to the transition, just as new regulation mandating the sale of these vehicles comes into effect. Operator confidence must also be safeguarded by accelerating public chargepoint rollout with a national delivery plan that considers the specific needs of larger vans.

Overall, the van market grew by 12.7% in November with 27,433 vans, pickups and 4x4s joining the roads. The performance is 4.6% above pre-pandemic 2019 levels and represents 11 consecutive months of rising demand, totalling 311,754 units – the largest volume for two years as product availability continues to improve.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: "An eleventh month of growth in Britain’s van sector is hugely positive, especially given fleet renewal is key to decarbonisation. It is crucial that operator demand also translates to zero emission van uptake, driving down CO2 emissions to meet Britain’s ambitious environmental targets. These are severely threatened by Rules of Origin requirements due in less than four weeks’ time, so it is essential that a pragmatic solution is found, and fast."