commercial vehicles Archives - Fleet Summit
Posts Tagged :

commercial vehicles

UK van sales down 4.6% in October

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The light commercial vehicle (LCV) market declined marginally by -4.6%, in October, with 27,420 vans registered according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Despite this representing the second consecutive month of decline – albeit not as steep a fall as in September – the sector remains 2.3% up on the five-year pre-pandemic average for the month of October, with 2021 proving to be a strong year for LCV sales to date.1

Over the course of the month registrations of heavier vans, which weigh more than 2.5 tonnes and comprise the majority of the LCV market, fell by -8.9%. Pickups and vans weighing between 2.0-2.5 tonnes also declined by -16.9% and -16.6% respectively.

There was some good news, however, with registrations of 4x4s – a typically small market which has been buoyed by new models – and vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes doubling, with increases of 114.7% and 100.5% respectively.

Year-to-date, registrations of LCVs have increased by 24.4%, to 294,656 units, compared to 2020 when Covid related issues were more widely felt.2 But despite the sector seeing a rebound in registrations in 2021, the market still remains -5.2% short of the pre-pandemic five-year average, equating to 16,026 less vans being sold, primarily due to the global shortage of semiconductors.3

As a result of the ongoing challenges facing the sector, SMMT has downgraded it’s outlook for the LCV market by over 20,000, to 340,000 units registered in 2021. While this remains higher than 2020, it represents a net decline against 2019 sales, with the market not expected to recover back above that level until 2023.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “While it’s disappointing to see the number of new vans registered during October decline, demand has remained strong over the course of the year. The commercial vehicle sector, however, is not immune to the challenges faced by the industry as a whole, most notably the semiconductor shortage. Manufacturers are working hard to fulfil orders to ensure fleets can continue to be renewed and the latest models, including zero emission products, hit UK roads.”


How much would it cost to drive the British coastline in an electric van?

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

If you’ve seen the news recently, you may have seen that a man called Nick Butter has successfully completed a challenge like no other: running the length of Britain’s coastline.

That’s right, Nick completed this epic, extraordinary journey after 128 days on Sunday 22nd August 2021. In doing so, the ultramarathon man clocked a whopping 5,255 miles, covered more than 12,000,000 steps, spent more than 1,400 hours running, and burnt out 14 pairs of trainers – a rather impressive feat to say the least!

That got us thinking. The transport industry is up against it when it comes to emissions, and with Boris Johnson having announced his decision to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, everyone is having to start looking at more environmentally friendly alternatives – for example, the humble electric vehicle.

So, inspired by this challenge, van leasing company Van Ninja have delved into how long Nick Butter’s amazing record would take if you were to do it an electric van, rather than on foot like he managed to do.

The route

If you were to follow the exact same route as Nick, you’d begin your rather exquisite adventure on the coast of Cornwall at the world-renowned Eden Project, before navigating your way up the coast towards Hampshire, and on towards Kent.

Now starts the extensive journey north, as you travel up the East coast, passing through the likes of Norfolk, Yorkshire, and Northumberland, before crossing the border into Scotland and weaving your way up towards the capital. Then, you get onto the now-famous North Coast 500 (the UK’s best road trip).

Then begins the long descent south, back down towards Dunbarton, Dumfries, Cumbria, Cheshire, and through into Wales. After you navigate your way through the stunning Welsh countryside, you prepare to complete the penultimate stage of your journey, departing Monmouthshire and ticking off Gloucester, Somerset, Devon, and then of course, you’re back in Cornwall.

The time

According to Volkswagen, the e-Transporter’s battery can be charged from empty to full in five hours 30 minutes, offering a range of 82 miles.

With this in mind, during the course of the 5,255-mile expedition, you’ll need to stop on 65 occasions. This is based on access to a 7kWh vehicle charging point, which is the standard device in homes around the country and often available at the likes of hotels, pubs, and other hospitality venues.

So, the number you’ve all been waiting for – in order to do a full swoop of Britain’s coastline in an electric van, it would take you 357.5 hours in charging times and 51 hours of driving (if we were able to travel at an average speed of 50mph). If you incorporate the government and RAC suggestions of taking a break for 15 minutes following on from two hours of driving, this will add an additional six and a half hours onto your total journey time.

So, there you have it – to drive the entirety of the British coastline in an electric van, you’d need to set aside 17 and a half days!

But, what about the cost? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that despite taking the same amount of time as a cruise around the Mediterranean, it’ll only set you back 2-3p per mile – meaning you could do this trip for between £50 and £75 in comparison to £745 in a diesel alternative.

So, now we’ve crunched the numbers, all that’s left is for you to do is plan your journey and hit the road – and identify where the charging points are in the Highlands!

Record numbers of vans on UK roads

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Commercial vehicles now account for 13.1% of all vehicles on the road in Britain – the highest recorded this century, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

SMMT’s annual automotive census has revealed that, as of the end of 2020, there were 4,604,861 vans, 589,445 trucks, and 73,608 buses and coaches on the road, out of a total of 40,350,714 vehicles in use.

Truck numbers declined by -3.1% to return to levels last recorded in 2015, while bus and coach units are at their lowest since records began, a consequence of the significant drop in passenger numbers caused by the pandemic.

More positively, vans recorded their 11th year of consecutive growth, increasing by 1.7% year-on-year as an upsurge in home delivery and construction stimulated demand. Many of these vehicles have also been instrumental in supporting the nation during the pandemic, providing support to the NHS, and delivering food and goods across Britain.

The average age of commercial vehicles has also increased, with significant implications for emissions targets and air quality goals. The average van is now just under eight years old, with a considerable number of older vehicles still in operation – including around 725,000 that were first registered in 2005 or earlier.

Meanwhile, at 7.4 years old, the average truck would predate the introduction of Euro VI, meaning they would be fined for entering the London Ultra Low Emission Zone,the Bath Clean Air Zone and, from next month, would also incur penalties in Birmingham. Buses, meanwhile, are now, on average, more than a decade old.

Manufacturers have invested massively to provide a wide range of vehicles with a variety of fuel options – meaning operators are spoiled for choice when renewing their fleet.

With the end of sale of new petrol and diesel vans scheduled for 2030, plug-in van uptake continues to grow but remains far lower than that experienced in the car market.

There are now 14,021 battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vans in service, accounting for 0.3% of all operational vans – four times lower than the proportion of BEV and PHEV cars.

Based on the SMMT data, Slough is Britain’s zero-emission van capital, having both the highest percentage of electrified van registrations (2.2%) and the highest total number (2,087).

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The past year has highlighted how much Britain relies on its commercial vehicle parc. With less than nine years to go until the end of sale of new petrol and diesel vans, much needs to be done to avoid a long fossil fuel hangover from operators resisting the switch. Fleet renewal must be a high priority for the commercial vehicle sector and the government’s Bus Back Better strategy must be implemented immediately to reverse the decline in bus operations.”