The new van market has grown by a fifth and battery electric demand has increased as light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations show improvement.

The latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that over 355,000 new light commercial vehicles were registered in 2021, ending with the best December for the sector since 2015 with a 7.8% increase.

LCV registrations bounced back from the pandemic-hit 2020, growing by more than a fifth (21.4%) over the year. This represents some 62,723 units more than 2020 and is just -2.8% down on 2019.

SMMT point to strong underlying demand from key sectors – notably construction and home deliveries – as a crucial factor behind the robustness of the LCV market.

Battery electric vehicles (BEV) uptake also increased by 142.3%, although this equates to a relatively modest 12,759 zero emission vans and a total market share of 3.6%.

‘After a difficult 2020, the commercial vehicle sector has bounced back, with registrations recovering to just shy of pre-Covid levels,’ commented Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

‘While demand has remained robust, there is still the potential for market volatility with the Omicron variant and component shortages threatening supply chains. Manufacturers are working hard to ensure deliveries, and, with a record number of battery electric vans registered this past year, customers can be assured that more of these new technology vehicles will be available to keep society and businesses moving in an increasingly zero-emission manner.’