Zero emission truck surge takes HGV market by storm for sixth consecutive quarter

  • Zero emission truck sales take 2023, claiming the largest market share – but uptake must be accelerated if the sector’s ambitious 2035 target is to be achieved.
  • As the UK charges on with its first HGV-dedicated charger, a nationwide plan to electrify depots, rest stops and road networks is needed in every region. 
  • New HGV registrations surge by 14.9% to 11,531 units in Q3 2023, maintaining the pre-pandemic levels of fleet renewals.

Zero emission truck revolution dominates HGV market for the sixth straight quarter

The SMMT has revealed that UK HGV demand soared 14.9% in Q3 2023, with 11,531 trucks hitting the roads, marking the country’s sixth consecutive quarter of growth and the highest deliveries since late 2019. Most positively, electric and hydrogen truck adoption keeps climbing, capturing 0.8% of the Q3 market – the biggest quarterly share in 2023, a significant leap from 0.3% and 0.4% in Q1 and Q2.

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Although zero-emission truck adoption has hit record highs, it remains a small fraction of the overall HGV market. Accelerating the sector’s transition is crucial due to its time-sensitive goals. With non-zero emission HGV registrations under 26 tonnes set to end in 2035, zero-emission vehicles currently make up just one in 119 new trucks – adding pressure to accelerate the sector’s transition if it is to meet the target. Operators are looking for confidence in transitioning but voice serious worries about the inadequate public chargepoint infrastructure, crucial for maintaining commercially viable logistics in a tight-margin business.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said:

“Britain’s sixth quarter of rising HGV rollout and increasing uptake of zero emission trucks this year underlines the sector’s strong position, with operators in all UK regions getting the latest fuel-efficient and very greenest models. The rate of zero emission truck uptake must increase, however, both drastically and soon – amid significant obstacles to the sector’s transition. With just one public HGV chargepoint in the UK, a national plan for public and depot infrastructure is urgently needed to make fleet decarbonisation a reality for all operators, now and in the long term.”

With the launch of Britain’s inaugural truck-dedicated public chargepoint in the North West last month, the focus now shifts towards delivering charging infrastructure at depots, truck rest stops, and the strategic road network across the rest of the UK – transforming strong HGV demand into green growth for fleets of all sizes.

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