2022 was the year where fleets and business became truly a blend of electric, petrol and diesel, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) official sales statistics.
The biggest shift in vehicle demographics was in the car sector, where the market share of electric continues to grow, and diesel is relegated to last place among the main powertrains.
In total, fleet buyers bought more than 750,000 cars, and the business sector (SMEs) 44,700, in 2022. Compared to 2021, this was a 7.5% drop in fleet sales, but a 37% rise in SME purchases.
Petrol, and mild hybrid petrol variants, continue to be the dominant fuel in terms of volume though, with more than 900,000 units sold to fleet and private customers last year, while diesel only registered around 155,000 in total – far less than electric car sales.
Overall, pure electric cars accounted for 267,200 units, up 40.1% on the previous year, and the SMMT said: “Fleets and business buyers were responsible for the lion’s share of battery electric vehicles, accounting for two thirds (66.7%) of all BEV registrations and 74.7% of the volume gain in 2022.”
The UK van market had a tough year, with sales down more than 20% on 2021, reaching a total of 282,139 units sold in 2022. The SMMT said that businesses were ordering vans, and demand was strong, but persistent supply chain issues restricted production globally, resulting in limited availability.
While overall van sector sales were down, demand for battery electric vans (BEVs) grew, with deliveries up 31.2% to 16,744 units.
The SMMT added: “There is an ever-increasing number of electric van models available for a broad range of use cases, however, uptake remains some way off the new car market, where BEVs comprised 16.6% of new registrations.”
The business case, growing strength and increase in models resulted in four in 10 of all the battery electric vans ever registered in the UK delivered in 2022, but the SMMT says more needs to be done, adding that “action from all stakeholders is needed to ensure the UK can achieve its ambitious green goals”.
Diesel vans dominated the market still with more than 259,000 sold, equating to a 91.9% of all sales. In terms of a market share, this was a 3% drop on the year before, but it illustrates that there is a still a very long way to go until fleets have dropped diesel from their ranks.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Replicating last year’s high levels of fleet renewal was always going to be a challenge with relentless supply chain disruptions and wider economic malaise.
“A return to growth is expected in 2023, but if this crucial sector is to deliver for the economy, society and the environment, action is needed from all stakeholders, particularly in the areas of charging infrastructure and fiscal frameworks, enabling more van buyers to make the switch.”
Businesses are now truly running blended fleets, where petrol and electric dominate in the car sector, and diesel in vans. For a fleet, that means they need to be able to adapt and plan for which driver, vehicle or operation is best suited to a particular fuel type.
In order to do this, they need running cost data, insight and the ability to pay for all three fuels at once.
At Allstar, our Allstar One Electric card allows fleets to pay for these three fuel types no matter which vehicles you are running.
Crucially too, through our online dashboard, Allstar Online, you are able to see all costs and purchases so you can make strategic decisions over which type of vehicles to operate. By doing this you can run a blended fleet, and have the flexibility to shift to different fuels to suit market conditions and vehicle needs.