New EU truck, van, and bus sales picked up again in 2023

New EU van, truck, and bus sales rose again in 2023, with double-digit growth figures in all segments. New van sales surged by +14.6% to nearly 1.5 million units, driven by strong performances in key EU markets. It is the same story for trucks (+16.3%) and 346,986 units sold, and buses with +19.4% growth compared to 2022, totaling 32,593 units.

In Belgium, even stronger than average EU figures showed, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), with 67,549 new vans hitting the road (+20.4%), of which 3,070 were electric (+63.5%). Belgium registered 10,058 new medium and heavy trucks (+17.4%), of which 113 were electric (+370.8%). But like elsewhere in Europe, diesel remains king in every segment.

Bus sector leading transition

The bus sector leads the energy transition as diesel further descended to 62.3% of total new sales. In comparison, electrically chargeable vehicles (ECVs) counted for 15.9%, hybrids for 12.8%, and 9% for other fuels (like gas or hydrogen). Public transport is the driving force, as most European countries have stringent rules for ‘greening’ the bus fleets in cities.

That sense of urgency isn’t widespread in the trucking sector, as only 1.5% of sales were ECVs, a total of 5,361 electric trucks out of 298,407 in the whole of the EU. Germany delivered the lion’s share with 2,169 registered ECV trucks, followed by the Netherlands with 1,148. Diesel trucks were still the bulk with 95.7%. Looking beyond the EU27, the UK was doing well with 1,506 electric trucks and Norway with 705.

Stronger momentum for electric van

In the light commercial vehicles sector, the vans, there is already a slightly stronger momentum for going electric as 7.4% was ECV and 2.3% HEV, compared to 82.6% diesel and 6.3% gasoline. Diesel remains the preferred fuel, with 1.2 million units registered, marking a 10.4% increase from 2022. Still, its market share contracted by 3.1%.

The electric shift was driven by substantial gains in key markets, including the Netherlands, where 9,971 new electric vans were registered (+110.4%), Spain (+100.3% or 9,983 units), and France (+76.7% or 30,227 units). But Belgium also scored above the EU average (+56.8%) with a growth of +63.5%.

Looking at the totals, 108,297 electric vans were registered in the European Union. Beyond the 27, the UK (22,269) and Norway (9,002) contributed most to the 143,877 total figure. Regarding medium and heavy trucks, 7,975 new ones were commissioned in Europe (+115.1%), and 7,242 new electric buses (+47.4%).

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