A challenging, but short month for the electric van market

Share this content

There’s no doubt that taking a single month’s statistics in isolation can give a very misleading picture of the overall performance of the electric van market. If you look back at previous issues of this newsletter, you’ll see that there are some serious peaks and troughs and that a trend can only be seen once several months have been examined, flattening out those distortions that can occur for a multitude of reasons.

There’s no sugar-coating it, the statistics for February 2024 alone don’t make for easy reading for anyone with a vested or any other type of interest in the uptake by operators of electric vans. To be fair, it’s not been a great month overall for the van market and, as with August, the month before a plate change can see some erratic behaviour from customers, dealers and manufacturers.

LCV registrations overall were up 2.2% compared to last February, but the excellent performance in January means that year to date numbers have grown by 5.7%. Looking at BEV’s, a drop in volume of 12.3% has resulted in a February market share of just 4.7%, compared to 5.5% in the corresponding month in 2023. Year to date, we’re on level pegging with last year at 4.9% so, with two months in, the manufacturers chasing that 10% ZEV Mandate requirement have even more catching up to do (although some are fairing better than others, more on that later).

One glimmer of hope we should bear in mind – those SMMT statistics are for LCV’s with a GVM of up to 3500kg. There are more and more customers taking advantage of the government derogation for heavier electric vans, and, as year to date the 3.5t to 6.0t segment is up a massive 74.9%, we can be forgiven in thinking that the electric van market could be stronger than the headlines suggest…

So, who were the movers and shakers in February? And who has the most work to do? There’s a caveat here though, February is traditionally a month of low volumes, so one single fleet customer can skew the figures – treat these with caution, and in isolation…

Looking at the data supplied by NewAutomotive, grabbing 20% of the electric van market was Vauxhall, and with 9% of its total registrations being BEV, the company must be cautiously optimistic about avoiding those ZEV Mandate fines. Ford took 18% and second place, but still with only 3% of their sales being electric. The blue oval has some serious work to do but, as we’ve said before, new, potentially high volume products are coming on stream this year. The bronze medal this month goes to Toyota, continuing its good performance with 14% of the EV sector, and an encouraging 9% of its 1413 registrations being electric.

At the other end of the chart, Renault must be disappointed having achieved only 26 electric van sales, just 3% of its total registrations, and Maxus will also be hoping for big things from its new models as the month of February saw just 18 electric vehicles registered, 2% of the 770 vans and pickups sold. So, although February hasn’t been too kind, let’s remember that a short, low volume month will be full of twists and turns, and fingers crossed that March and the new ‘24’ plate will see a healthier electric van market.