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Automotive News – Early June 2024

Estimated reading time 4 minutes

Alexander Dennis, a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., one of the world’s leading independent global bus manufacturers, today announced that English bus operator Reading Buses has confirmed new orders for 24 zero-emission and 29 low-emission buses.

The 24 next-generation Alexander Dennis Enviro400EV double decker’s will be the operator’s first batch of electric buses. They are the result of a successful bid with Reading Borough Council for funding from the second round of the UK Government’s Zero-Emission Regional Bus Areas scheme (ZEBRA 2).

Van market sustains growth, but electric uptake must rise faster.

  • 17th month of growth in LCV market as volumes rise 1.9%.
  • Growth fuelled by midweight vans as market records best May since record-breaking 2021.
  • Battery electric vehicle uptake rises but market still short of targets.

The UK new light commercial vehicle market posted its 17th consecutive month of growth in May, as registrations rose by 1.9% to reach 25,853 units, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The result was the strongest performance for the month since 2021, which recorded the best May market in history when business investment in commercial vehicles accelerated in the wake of the pandemic.

Volume growth was fuelled mainly by an 8.1% increase in uptake of vans weighing more than 2.0t up to 2.5t. Light vans weighing less than 2.0t recorded the largest proportional growth, of 55.7%, although the market segment is subject to volatility arising from low volumes. The 4×4 market, subject to the same small volume variations, recorded a decline of -15.0%, while pick-ups grew by 4.1%. As ever, large vans weighing more than 2.5t up to 3.5t comprised the vast majority of the market (65.9%), with a slight decline of -0.8%

New car market holds steady as fleets drive growth.

  • New car registrations up 1.7% in May in 22nd consecutive month of growth.
  • Battery electric vehicle (BEV) market share rises to 17.6% in the month and 16.1% YTD.
  • Retail BEV uptake declines less than overall private market as manufacturers subsidise ongoing transition.

The UK new car market marked its 22nd consecutive month of growth as registrations rose 1.7% in May, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). With 147,678 units reaching the road, it was the best May market performance since 2021, although it remains down some -19.6% on 2019.


Nearly 18 years ago, the first Nissan Qashqai rolled off the production line in Sunderland. Fast forward to 2024, and with more than four million customers in more than 100 countries, the fastest-selling car ever in the UK car industry has been upgraded once more – with new design and significant technology updates.

The new Qashqai, electrified with Nissan’s e-POWER system, is now in production at its home in Sunderland ahead of its arrival in the coming weeks to Nissan dealers across Europe and beyond. The latest upgrades required a fresh £30m investment in the plant, building on Nissan’s total investment in the UK of £6bn.

A new independent body, called the Council for Net Zero Transport, has been established to accelerate the decarbonisation of the transport sector by providing expert advice and strategic oversight to the next UK Government.

The ultimate objective of the Council for Net Zero Transport is to provide the next UK Government with a well-defined, consensus-based strategy for future policy. This will not only guide national decisions but also offer a clear framework for policy implementation at all levels of government.

The launch of the new council has been organised by the non-profit Zemo Partnership, formerly Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP), that has been providing policy guidance to the Government to accelerate road transport decarbonisation for the past two decades.

The Council will be chaired by Lord Deben, former chair of the UK’s climate watchdog, the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

Other members include Professor Jillian Anable, Elizabeth de Jong, Mike Hawes, Fiona Howarth, Professor Neville Jackson, Edmund King OBE, Cordi O’Hara OBE FEI, Dr Doug Parr, Anne Shaw OBE, Chris Stark, Martin Tugwell, David Wells, and the TBC Chair of the Local Infrastructure and Net Zero (LINZ) Board from the Local Government Association.


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