The best electric van

Electric vans.

Even 20 years ago the suggestion of an electric van would have been a radical one. However, with more electric vehicles being launched this should no longer be the case.

They cost less than diesel and petrol vans to run as electricity is lower in price than fossil fuels, and they are much kinder to the environment in the long run.

It’s not only the cost of keeping them running that is starting to appeal to business owners and employers. The fact that maintenance, vehicle excise duty and company van tax would also be lower is another positive that is starting to encourage business owners to look at leasing, hiring or purchasing an electric van.

As well as saving you money, they can also help to improve the image of your company by showing everyone that you’re looking to make your company more eco-friendly.

Looking for an electric vehicle but need to know more? Find out the ins and outs of electric vehicles in our latest article.

What are the pros and cons of an electric van?

Sure, there are some pretty good financial benefits to driving an electric van, but is it worth it?

Electric van pros

Once you get past the production phase, an electric van is good for the environment. Electric vans emit zero CO2, which makes them perfect for green-minded drivers and business owners alike.

  • In the UK an electric van is cheap to tax as it’s:
    • Exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (aka road/car tax)
    • Liable for only 60% of Company Van Tax, totalling (2020/21) £2,058.
  • Running costs are much lower. For many van drivers fuel consumption is an issue as the cost of petrol and diesel is quite high.
  • Where there was once a very limited number of options, there are now choices available if you are looking to get an electric van. The choice will only continue to increase as more manufacturers add vehicles to their electric range.
  • It’s good for your business brand. More customers want to see that their favourite brands, whether we’re talking big name stores or smaller businesses, showing some social responsibility. Using an electric van shows everyone that you are doing your bit to help the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.

Cons of Electric Vans

So far so good, right? However, the electric van is still relatively new technology and therefore they aren’t without teething problems.

  • Range. This is something that has long been an issue for anyone looking to go electric and is the main source of criticism that is aimed at electric vehicles in general. However, manufacturers are getting better at increasing range on their electric vehicles so this may soon be a concern of the past.
  • Charging time. If your battery runs down then they can take a while to charge. A full charge can take up to eight hours for some vans. Many owners of an electric vehicle will simply leave it to charge overnight. The plus side to this is that if you do need to stop you can always grab a bite to eat, have a coffee and maybe do a Sudoku or two.
  • Lack of choice. There is now more choice than there was even as recently as 2018. If you’re looking for a larger electric van then the choice is still more limited than if you were looking at a petrol or diesel vehicle. However, this is changing and more manufacturers are releasing larger electric vans onto the market.

Now that you’ve had a chance to see the positive and negatives associated with driving an electric van – and the ways that many of the negatives are now being removed, what can you actually get if you have decided that electric is the way forward?

What’s the best electric van?

There are several electric vans on the market at the moment, but the list continues to grow as more manufacturers realise that there is a consumer-base for vans with a higher electric range.

Citroen e-Dispatch

This panel van comes in three different sizes – making it incredibly flexible for your business. The payload for the e-Dispatch is between 960kg and 1,002kg with a mileage range of up to 205 miles per charge. This range has been WLTP tested, but it should be noted that as with all electric vans and cars, the range depends greatly upon weight in the vehicle and equipment being used while driving.

Renault Master ZE

If you’re looking for a really big electric van, then look no further.

The Renault Master ZE is massive, with four different size configurations and a payload of between 925kg and 1,078kg. So, if you’re looking for a van that’s ideal for your local moving company, then look no further.

With the additional payload and the impressive size comes a massive battery, unfortunately, there has to be a trade off with this electric van and the fact that it has a range of between 50 and 75 miles depending on circumstances, you’re going to spend a lot of time charging in exchange for the payload.

Want to find out more about the range and price of electric vans on the market? Download our up-to-date list of electric vans available in the UK.

Nissan e-NV200

The Nissan e-NV200 is just as good as any conventional van.

It’s a good sized electric van for a business, and was, until 2018, the largest on the market in the UK.

The battery in this Nissan has had a recent upgrade and thanks to this it is now possible for you to travel between 124 and 187 miles on a single charge, in comparison to the 106 that were previously possible. These are the combined ranges confirmed by WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedures) and they may differ slightly to what is experienced by drivers depending on road condition, speed driven, and whether you’ve got the air conditioning on full.

Inside, it looks a lot like its diesel-powered sibling, the Nissan NV200, while its maximum payload is 705kg and it can tow a further 410kg.

Mercedes-Benz eVito Panel Van

Mercedes has made a bigger move into electric vehicles since 2019, and has introduced a new range of electric vans to match their drive to be more green. According to Mercedes, the eVito Panel van has been designed with efficiency in mind.

With a WLTP tested range of 92 miles before it needs charging, and a payload of between 890kg and 905kg depending on whether you choose the long wheelbase or the extra-long wheelbase, all you have to do is decide on the colour you want as this comes in 11 different colours, so you could match your electric van to your stylish electric car.

The future of electric vans

Whether you’re looking for a Ford Transit or a luxury Mercedes, the future’s looking good for businesses that want to show they’re socially aware. In fact, in 2020, Ford announced that they are in the process of developing a range of electric vans for customers who prefer the design of the Ford Transit or Ford Custom vans, with the first ones due to hit the market in the UK in 2022.

When it comes to the electric van the benefits are slowly coming to outweigh the disadvantages of range as more manufacturers see that business customers are looking to make all their vehicles more environmentally friendly. With technology catching up with demand and more car makers introducing heavier SUV-style electric vehicles, we’ll soon have electric vans with a longer range between charges.


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