Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more and more popular with each passing month. From their environmental benefits to cheaper motoring costs and the upcoming ban (2035 in the UK, but there is talk of bringing this forward to 2030) on the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles, the future has arrived. If you drive a van for work or your company owns or leases a fleet of vans, now’s the perfect time to make the switch and go electric.
Are there any electric vans?
The electric van market has roared into life this year. 2020 has been an odd period for most of us, but it’s been a revelatory one for electric vans. There’s been an explosion of new models hitting the showrooms, with manufacturers like Mercedes and Volkswagen entering the market alongside more established brands such as Nissan and Renault. There’s more to look forward to in 2021too with PSA Groupe brands Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall’s new all-electric mid-size commercial and passenger vans due for their first UK deliveries.
With new and larger vans on the horizon we’ve also seen the range these commercial vehicles can travel per charge increase; from around 90 miles 2 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.
We are big electric van fans at DriveElectric
we have one of the biggest rental fleets of electric vans in the UK which is why we were one of the first companies to be awarded ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ Status in 2016.
As well as 2-5 year Business Contract Hire we also supply subscription style FlexiHire contracts which are shorter agreements including insurance.
We help fleets analyse what will work for their business and then work with your drivers to help them with the switch to an EV.
What is the best electric van?
An open question which depends on personal requirements, there are some fantastic options when it comes to the best electric van right now. The fully-electric Nissan e-NV200 is right up there, with its rapid charge capability and excellent cargo capacity of up to 4.2m3. The Nissan electric van’s driving range is strong too, with the e-NV200’s 40kWh battery capable of covering up to 174 miles NEDC on a single charge, an improvement of 60% on the previous generation battery. Our ‘real world’ range, meanwhile, is 130 miles, which is usually comfortably more than enough for daily use for our clients.
The Peugeot E-Expert is also a great new option for those looking for more capacity than the e-NV200 provides. It’s available in two battery sizes; 50 kWh and 75 kWh, and it’s the first electric van option we’ve seen so far that’s available in a choice of 3 body lengths; compact, standard and long. These options provide a mix of carrying and load length capacities so you can find the perfect fit for your business.
Peugeot E-Expert capacity and load length guide:
|Model||Load space (m3)||Maximum load length (mm)|
Another benefit of the E-Expert is its extra range, with the 75kWh battery option this van should be able to travel 170 miles per charge. Pricing is available now for this van and the first UK E-Expert deliveries are expected from March 2021.
What electric vans are available?
There are lots more electric vans besides the e-NV200 and e-Expert available, with the Renault Kangoo ZE also among the cream of the crop. That has a real world range of around 120 miles from its 33kWh battery, earlier electric vans including the Peugeot Partner Electric and Citroen Berlingo Electric were solid choices for early adopters, if a little short on range. If you’re after large electric vans, the Mercedes eVito or eSprinter are worth looking out for, along with the Renault Master ZE and Fiat E-Ducato.
From Ford pledging to electrify its entire van range to an all-electric Volkswagen Caddy and new Zoe-based van from Renault all on the cards, the choice is constantly improving. We’re particularly excited about the three new electric vans coming soon from PSA Groupe, which will be available for lease imminently. Pricing is already available on the Peugeot E-Expert, and the Vauxhall Vivaro-e and Citroen e-Dispatch are going to be great additions to our line-up in the new year too, so watch this space.
UK Electric van lease options – including real world range and electricity cost to drive 100 miles
|Electric van||Battery size
|‘Real world’ range (miles)||Full charge cost
|Cost per 100 miles
|Renault Kangoo ZE||33 kWh||120||£4.95||£4.13|
|Nissan e-NV200||40 kWh||130||£6.00||£4.62|
|Renault Master ZE||33 kWh||75||£4.95||£6.60|
|Volkswagen e-Transporter||37 kWh||82||£5.55||£6.77|
|Mercedes eVito||41 kWh||84||£6.15||£7.32|
|Mercedes eSprinter||55 kWh||93||£8.25||£8.87|
|Peugeot E-Expert||75 kWh||170||£11.25||£6.62|
|Citroen E-Dispatch||75 kWh||170||£11.25||£6.62|
|Vauxhall Vivaro-e||75 kWh||170||£11.25||£6.62|
|Fiat E-Ducato||79 kWh||148||£11.85||£8.00|
*based on an electricity cost of 15p per kWh, typical of home charging
The business case for electric vans
It’s becoming increasingly important for companies 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 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 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 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 battery, 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?
All electric vans are perfect for business use, whether you cover many miles per day or only a limited distance. Because of significant fuel savings the more an EV is driven, the better the savings compared to petrol and diesel vans, but you still get all the benefits of switching to electric no matter how many miles per annum you drive, including: an automatic gear box, a really peaceful drive (due to the lack of engine noise and vibration), and the knowledge you’re not harming 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?
We offer everything from charging advice to our unique FlexiHire service and unbeatable support and experience. 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.