Battery electric van registrations fall -20.2% in October


Uptake of battery electric vans was down by a fifth (-20.2%) to 1,362 in October, compared to the month last year, according to data from the SMMT. In 2023 to date, BEV demand has risen by 19.8%, with 15,658 units registered since January. 

Electric vans represent one in 20 (5.5%) new LCVs so far this year as manufacturers continue to make net zero investments, having already delivered 27 different all-electric van models to market. 

The SMMT says that the Autumn Statement due later this month is a key opportunity to send a message that now is a good time to make the switch, by committing to retain existing incentives and beneficial tax frameworks for BEV buyers. Looking further ahead, it must also address major barriers to mass uptake, particularly by ramping up the rollout of public chargepoints which meet the specific needs of vans of all types and sizes. Furthermore, by providing prompt legislative approval for driving licence derogations for LCVs weighing more than 4.25 tonnes, it will be easier for fleets to invest in the largest BEV vans, accelerating decarbonisation and improving air quality in every region of the UK.

Overall, registrations of light commercial vehicles increased by 17.7% in October with 26,342 units. The growth is some 3.8% above pre-pandemic 2019 levels1 and rounds off 10 consecutive months of rising demand this year, totalling 284,321 units. This is the highest volume for two years as the easing of supply chain disruptions means that more operators can more readily renew their fleets.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: "As the crucial pre-Christmas delivery period commences, there is a clear appetite for fleets to be fitted out with the latest vans – and it is of critical importance that those vans are the latest, cleanest zero emission models. With van makers committed to decarbonisation, the upcoming Autumn Statement is the moment for government to send the right signal to operators ahead of the introduction of the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate. Measures that address van-specific infrastructure challenges and enable more operators across the UK to make the switch are essential as we move towards a pivotal stage of the transition."