The European commercial vehicles fleet is also aging, with European Union medium and heavy-duty trucks averaging around 13.9 years. In comparison, buses average about 13 years old, and light-duty commercial vehicles approximate a 12-year-old average. These factors are incentives for a push toward building a zero-emission commercial vehicle fleet in Europe.
Light Commercial Vehicles Lead the MarketAround 692,200 alternative fuel vehicles were a part of the European Union’s commercial fleet in 2021, including a wide variety of low to zero-emission units. This fleet volume represented a rise of over eight percent year-over-year, in line with the steady increase recorded since 2014. Vans made up over 89 percent of this alternative fuel commercial vehicle stock, making this vehicle type traditionally under 3.5 metric tons in gross vehicle weight the leader in the fleet. Annual sales were in line with the fleet distribution. Vans were the best-selling low-emission commercial vehicle type in Europe in 2021, representing close to 85 percent of sales. Germany was the largest European market for new alternative fuel van registrations, with close to 16,300 low-emission LCVs sold in 2021.
The higher demand for low-emission light-duty commercial vehicles compared to trucks and buses is linked back to the easier accessibility of charging points for smaller electric and plug-in hybrid van models due to their use in urban traffic. However, progress can still be made in the new energy LCV market. European manufacturers recorded the highest average greenhouse gas emissions across van producers in 2020. The Italian Iveco generated just under 205 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, with MAN and Daimler Truck close behind. Additionally, fully electric LCVs only represented 3.5 percent of the van shares in the European Union, far outweighed by diesel vehicles.