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Our ultimate guide to electric vans and light commercial vehicles

Are there any electric vans?

The electric van market roared into life in 2020, the world may have been reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic but electric vans came of age - and the choice since then has only improved.

Whereas just a few years ago the choice of manufacturers and models was low, now this is not the case, with almost all vanmakers now having at least one pure EV model to choose from. And most manufacturers are rapidly converting more models to include pure EV options.

Not only has the choice of brands increased but also the type of electric vans on offer, you can now choose from small, medium or large vans.

We’ve also seen the range these light commercial vehicles can travel on a charge increase; from around 90 miles three or four years ago, current and upcoming vans can travel from 130 to 170 miles per charge, which is making electric vans a viable option for more and more businesses.

What is the best electric van?

Not a question we can answer because it entirely depends what you want your trusty light commercial vehicle to do for you or your business. Thankfully, compared to just a few years ago there's an ever growing choice of electric van sizes to choose from, from the compact and nippy Renault Zoe Commercial up to the Peugeot e-Boxer or Mercedes-Benz eSprinter, there's now an electric van for all sizes.

At DriveElectric, we're big fans of the Peugeot e-Expert, which comes in a choice of 3 sizes. And if you're after something a little smaller, then the Peugeot e-Partner is another favourite here.

Peugeot e-Expert capacity and load length guide


Load space (metre cubed)

Load length (mm)










Electric vans come in many sizes...

There's now an electric van to meet your needs

Renault Zoe van

Renault Zoe Van

Peugeot e-Partner

Peugeot e-Expert

Peugeot e-Expert

Ford E-Transit HERO

Ford e-Transit

The business case for electric vans

It’s becoming increasingly important for organisations to be known as environmentally friendly, but electric vans offer a lot more to businesses than green credentials. That said, the fact that EVs produce zero CO2 tailpipe emissions is a key consideration for many business owners. A commitment to improving air quality in cities and urban areas is key to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), and a solid building block for positive PR.

Costs like road tax, congestion charges and ultra-low emission zone charges are currently eliminated entirely by going electric. Meanwhile, the UK government is also offering incentives which help with the cost of leasing electric vans and the installation of charge points on (some) home and business premises. As with all electric vehicles fuel costs are dramatically reduced compared to petrol and diesel vans, while maintenance costs are also usually lower. This is due to the lack of moving parts in an EV batterypack and electric motor, compared to those in a combustion engine.

When looking at the upfront cost of an electric car or van in comparison with petrol or diesel options EVs can appear more pricey, however bearing all the savings above in mind EVs really do work out better in the long run. On top of that higher residual values for electric vehicles mean there is less of a difference on monthly operating or lease costs, you can read more in our Do electric cars depreciate? post.

Are electric vans suitable for businesses?

Due to the flexibility and options available in the electric van market, in most cases there is an electric van which has the mix of payload, load space and vehicle range to complete the job.

According to data provided by the Department for Transport the majority of light commercial vehicles travel in and around their local area - perhaps covering between 30 and 100 miles per day. Even vans travelling regionally between 100-150 miles a day can confidently switch to electric power.

When taking consideration of the increasing price of diesel as well, the operational costs of an EV are significantly lower, particularly when the electric van can be charged at home or at the workplace. Drivers also benefit from a super-smooth, quiet and easy driving experience and there are no harmful exhaust emissions impacting on local air quality.

Leading logistics service, Menzies Distribution, covers more than 135,000 miles every day, allowing it to complete around 110 million deliveries every year. The company has the largest fully-electric fleet of vehicles within London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), and has immersed itself into vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology in order to help the national electricity grid become cleaner and greener.

This shows that electric vans are perfectly suitable for businesses purposes, even for fleets that have vehicles constantly on the road.

We can help your company go electric, the same way we helped last-mile delivery service Gnewt, which was later acquired by Menzies Distribution.

Why choose DriveElectric for your electric van lease?

DriveElectric offers a whole life approach to updating, managing and renewing electric van fleets. Our consultative approach includes working with fleet managers and the drivers themselves to approach electric vehicle adoption in a realistic and holistic manner.

Whether you have a small or large fleet of vans, we can help you analyse how it performs, and help you determine whether electric van leasing is for you.

We have been awarded ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status for our own electric car and van rental fleet and we love passing on our knowledge. As well as advising you how to optimise things like charging habits, we can even design training programmes for drivers to ensure your EVs are being understood and used efficiently. Fully-electric motoring is the future, but we can help you make it part of your present when you get in touch with us today.

Get in touch with a DriveElectric EV Consultant