Are you weighing up whether to buy an electric van? With EV (electric vehicle) sales and infrastructure booming, you may be considering switching to a cleaner vehicle. Whether you use a van for your commercial business or just for your day-to-day life, there’s now more choice than ever before.
As businesses look to cut costs on rising fuel prices and reduce their carbon footprint, an EV could tick every box. With improved range and charging options, it’s never been easier to drive an electric vehicle. Now, several of the biggest manufacturers are dedicated to producing electric vans, including Vauxhall, Renault, Volkswagen and more.
Let’s dive into some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning an electric van. Plus, what is the best electric van on the market right now?
The biggest deciding factor when looking at switching to any electric vehicle is the range. An electric vehicle’s range is how far the vehicle can travel before needing to be recharged. Similar to how you might get 300 miles out of a conventional van before needing to fill up.
If an electric vehicle cannot travel as far as you need it to in a single charge, then it probably isn’t the EV for you. At the moment, the only downside to electric vans is their range. While electric vans are more able to travel further than ever before, manufacturers are struggling to match the driving range of diesel vans.
The range of an electric van depends on the model, but most have a range of 100-220 miles. It’s important to note that an EVs range can be impacted by cold weather, driving conditions and more.
In 2021, the Department for Transport released findings that showed the average UK van driver travels 13,200 miles per year. That works out to roughly 36 miles per day, and 253 miles per week. Of course, this is just an average and will vary from business to business.
But, on paper most van drivers should be able to switch to an all-electric alternative without worrying about the range. If you’re looking to buy an electric van with 200 odd miles of range, you might only need to top up the battery once or twice a week.
Our best advice would be to keep a record of the number of miles you drive in a day or week and compare that with how often you want to charge an electric vehicle. This will give you an idea of which models to consider before you buy an electric van.
Before you decide to buy an electric van, or any electric vehicle, you need to consider how you’ll charge it. For most people, charging an electric vehicle is easiest at home. If you have off-street parking available to you, it’s likely this is how you’ll choose to charge your electric vehicle.
In this case, you’ll need to look into getting a wall box fitted. Wall boxes are by far the easiest way to charge any electric vehicle at home. They charge the vehicle much quicker than a standard domestic plug socket, and they’re much safer to use. Some manufacturers will have rolling partnerships with EV charging companies and you might get a wallbox included in your EV purchase.
As well as charging an electric vehicle at home, you’ll also be able to make use of the UK’s growing public network. While the charging speed of an electric van will be limited to the type of charger that’s fitted to it, the UK has a huge number of rapid charging stations. These allow an electric vehicle to be charged much quicker than when using a wall box. With the right charging system in your van, these can charge a van up to 80% in just 30 minutes.
The final charging option is relying on charging your electric vehicle at work. If your workplace offers EV chargers, it could be worth charging your vehicle there. All you’d need to do is park in a dedicated EV charging spot, plug in and head into work. When you’ve finished your work day, you can return to your EV with a full battery and head home.
Price and running cost
There’s no denying that electric vehicles are generally more expensive than conventional
vehicles. While we expect this to even out in the coming years, we know that making the decision to buy an electric van is big.
One plus side to splashing out an electric vehicle is the running costs. First of all, you’ll be free from the ridiculously high fuel prices. While the energy to change an electric van isn’t free, it is considerably cheaper than fuel. It’s thought that in comparison to diesel, charging an electric van is roughly a third cheaper.
As there’s no internal combustion engine to maintain, you’re also likely to save some pennies on servicing and maintaining an electric van. Plus, local authorities are trying to incentivise electric vehicles by introducing low or zero emission zones throughout cities.
You may have heard of the London Congestion Charge and Ultra-Low Emission Zone which is currently in place throughout the capital. For those living or working in London with diesel vans this is an additional cost that would be eradicated by driving an electric vehicle.
Another incentive the Government is running is a free grant which offers up to £5,000 off the purchase price of a new electric van. The total grant available depends on the model and size of an electric van, however the grant does pay for 35% of the purchase price.
This is brilliant for businesses who have huge commercial fleets as you can claim this grant on a total of 1000 business vehicles each year. What’s more is the Government has just announced that this grant will be in place for at least another two years, so businesses might as well make the most of it!
Our electric van recommendations!
Are you ready to buy an electric van? If so, here are some of our favourite models!
Our first, and one of our favourite electric vehicles, is the Vauxhall Vivaro-e. It is by far one of the best electric vans on the UK market right now, for one simple reason. It’s the electric van that can travel the furthest on a single charge! The 75kWh model offers drivers a maximum of 205 miles, which is well above its rivals.
The Vivaro-e is based off of its conventional sibling, the Vauxhall Vivaro. For that reason, we find the all-electric model super easy to drive and practical. Unlike some electric vehicles, which are designed solely as EVs, the Vivaro-e is based on a conventional model, meaning we already know it’s a brilliant van.
We currently have some brand new Vivaro-e models available for sale at our Head Office in Kent! You can find more details online at our website or give us a call on 01634 914 063.
Renault Kangoo ZE
Our second choice would be for those looking for a smaller electric van – the Renault Kangoo ZE. Similarly to the Vivaro-e, the Kangoo is also based on a non-electric model. With the latest Kangoo ZE model, drivers can enjoy a maximum of 120 miles in real-world conditions before needing to be topped up. That’s a huge 70 miles further than the previous electric model.
The Kangoo ZE works brilliantly as a small electric van, especially because of its customisability! In the front you’ll find two comfy seats as usual, whereas in the back it’s a different story. The rear three seats are actually collapsible so more space can be made for cargo.
* All information correct as of 24/03/2022.