What's New in The World of Vans in September 2021?
September saw some interesting speculation about the future of autonomous vehicle technology, as well as some stylish new upgrades to a few popular van models. There was also good news for anyone looking to sell an LCV via auction.
Here’s what’s been happening in the world of vans over the last month.
Driverless Delivery Vans Within Two Years?
A UK autonomous vehicle technology company has said that driverless delivery vans could be operating on UK roads within the next couple of years, if their application for a trial is successful.
StreetDrone have been developing the technology, and even recently signed a deal with Wilco which gives the high street retailer a £3 million stake in the Oxford-based firm. StreetDrone are hoping to build on their success and trial driverless delivery vans within a couple of years, though the project will need to be sanctioned by Oxford City Council. The current legislation does not allow driverless vehicles on public streets, though there are discussions happening with the relevant authorities to allow a trial of the vehicles.
The StreetDrone founders, Mike Potts and former McLaren engineer Mark Preston believe we are probably still a good ten years away from driverless delivery vans, even if the proposed trial is successful.
The StreetDrone innovators were also clear that they are not focusing on developing driverless vehicles for motorways and busy town centres. “Instead,” said Preston, “We’re looking at suburban environments and new build housing estates where this sort of ‘last mile’ delivery can bring real value.”
New Nissan Van Designs Revealed
Nissan unveiled a few new van designs in September, most notably their Townstar panel van which now features a choice of petrol or electric powertrains. The Primastar and Interstar Nissan vans have also been given upgrades, now revealed as restyled and rebadged versions of the NV300 and NV400 models previously available.
The new electric version of the Townstar is Nissan’s successor to the e-NV200, and will now come equipped with a 44kWh battery which should provide a maximum range of 177 miles. The new van features several other improvements to its battery technology and motor, which has been switched out for a more powerful 120bhp version.
The Primastar and Interstar have both received a number of styling and technology upgrades.
LCV Values Remain Strong at British Car Auctions
British Car Auctions announced toward the end of September that the sale values of LCVs remained ‘exceptionally strong’ during the previous August. The sale value averaged at £9,874 over that month, which is one of the highest monthly averages on record.
The Chief Operating Officer of UK Remarketing at British Car Auctions, Stuart Pearson, said: “Professional buyer interest at BCA continues to be exceptionally strong for LCVs and we continue to enhance our LCV cataloguing, our grading process and our online buyer services to support the largest registered buyer base for light commercial vehicles in the UK.”
The numbers are especially good news as Pearson noted that August has traditionally been one of the quieter months for LCV sales.