November 10, 2020
Across the UK’s van market, a quiet (literally!) revolution has been taking place. Increasingly, household-name brands from Ford and VW to Renault and Nissan are making electric models available in a range of sizes to suit different needs.
Battery technology has improved immeasurably in recent years, so that it’s now perfectly possible to have a driving range that will last across a delivery route for a full day’s work. Batteries are also lighter and take up less space than previously.
Clearly, the benefits of electric models in terms of the environment and air pollution are huge, particularly in more built-up places, as bigger city centres increasingly launch clean-air zones. And it means, for example, a parcel can travel from distribution centre to its end destination on a zero-emissions ticket.
However, if for any reason you feel unsure about going fully electric, a growing number of plug-in hybrid models given van users even more choice. Ford’s medium-sized Transit Custom is one case in point.
But whatever you choose, you’ll find a similar cargo volume to these models’ diesel-based counterparts.
Additionally, the government grant for electric or plug-in vans is currently £8,000, compared with £5,000 for electric cars. This will help with the initial cost of an electric/hybrid model, which can be higher than that of a standard van, although of course long-term you’ll save on running expenses including fuel and taxes.
Electric vans won’t be for everyone. But with more and better models increasingly available from an ever-growing number of manufacturers, and a charging infrastructure that’s improving all the time, it’s hardly surprising that more businesses are electrifying their fleets.
The good news is that smaller vehicles are particularly well suited to conversion to electric models. Below are some suggestions, although other marques including VW, Ford, Renault and LDV plan to launch other models before long.
The Whatcar.com website recommends these in 2020 if you’re in the market for a new small electric van:
For a smaller vehicle, this model packs quite a punch in terms of load capacity, making it a good choice for short-notice deliveries in built-up areas. What’s more, it can drive 100 miles off a single charge. The reviewer felt that the shape of this vehicle made it ideal for production as an electric model – and that actually it worked better than the diesel version.
Frequently the best-selling smaller electric model in Europe, the upgraded motor and battery pack for this hatchback from the Renault Zoe gives it a 120-mile driving range. You can also pay monthly to lease the battery pack.
Upgraded in 2017, these twin vans are identical and a cost-effective way of getting behind the wheel of an electrified model. While a range of 100 miles is described, some reviewers think that this is actually an overestimate.
How we can help
Of course, these are just a few examples, and other models are available from a wide range of manufacturers.
At VansDirect, we have a number of smaller electric vans on offer, and we offer a string of attractive van finance packages, including van leasing, hire purchase and contract hire.
Get in touch with us today and discuss which option would best suit you, and take the first step to kitting your business out with a great little electric van – or even a whole fleet of them.