Demand for HGVs grew by 15% in Q3, with more than 11,500 trucks joining Britain’s roads, according to latest figures.

The SMMT said it represented the UK’s sixth consecutive quarter of growth and the largest number of new HGV deliveries in any quarter since the end of 2019.

It added that the uptake of electric and hydrogen-powered lorries continued to rise too and now represented 0.8% of the market, the largest quarterly share this year, compared with 0.3% and 0.4% in Q1 and Q2.

While zero emission truck uptake has reached record levels, its share is still a fraction of the entire HGV market and the SMMT said the sector’s transition needed to be accelerated given the time-critical ambitions.

Zero emission vehicles represent just one in 119 new trucks, compared with one in five new cars and one in 20 new vans.

Overall growth in registrations was driven by the uptake of rigids, up 13.9% to 6,293 units and demand for artics was also strong, increasing by 16.1% to 5,238 units.

The most popular truck body continues to be tractors, typically used for the largest delivery trucks, up 16.4% and representing 44.5% of the market.

There was also a rise in demand for box vans with registrations up 11.8%, while uptake of curtain-sided trucks and refuse vehicles increased by 62.5% and 16.6% respectively.

Tipper registrations declined, however, down 9.7% compared with a strong third quarter in 2022.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Britain’s sixth quarter of rising HGV rollout and increasing uptake of zero emission trucks this year underlines the sector’s strong position, with operators in all UK regions getting the latest fuel-efficient and very greenest models.

“The rate of zero emission truck uptake must increase, however, both drastically and soon – amid significant obstacles to the sector’s transition.”