Electric vans are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, with 3,204 registrations in 2019 (up from 980 in 2018) and double-digit sales growth consistently over the past 5 years. Choosing which one is best is getting more difficult each year with the wider choice, but our Electric Van Guide should help you decided which is best for you and your business.
Electric Vans – are they worth it?
Electric vans offer huge benefits for certain operators. They’re cheap to run (lower tax rates, lower cost per mile, less parts to service/repair, etc.), eco-friendly, they’re compliant with the ULEZ (Ultra-Low Emission Zone) and other emission zones, they’re a lot quieter and there’s instant torque – perfect for transporting heavy loads.
However, it’s not all good news. The biggest of these is range anxiety; electric charging points aren’t as plentiful as fuel stations (around 6,500 in the UK) and the ranges are a lot lower. If you do run out of charge, you can’t simply get a friend to nip to the local garage with a jerry can either – a special callout is required to recharge.
Other disadvantages include the amount of time to recharge (up to 8 hours on standard chargers), the purchase price, the residual values and the fact that batteries lose range performance over time.
Citroen Berlingo Electric
The Citroen Berlingo Electric is available in both short (3.3 cubic metres) and long wheelbase (3.7 cubic metres) forms, offering maximum load lengths of 1,800mm and 2,050mm respectively. The 106-mile range is the lowest of any electric small van, although it is very competitively priced at £22,022.80 plus VAT after the Plug-In Vehicle Grant.
Iveco Daily Electric
Iveco was one of the early pioneers of the electric van segment and has been producing an electric version of the Daily since 2010, which originally came with a 21kWh battery. Since then, Iveco’s electric capabilities have gone from strength-the-strength and the latest version has a capacity of 28.2kWh, but you are able to have up to three batteries.
Maxus E Deliver 3
The Maxus E Deliver 3 is one new arrival that will have Nissan quaking as the little Chinese van may knock the eNV200 off the top spot for European electric van sales. With a range of up to 200 miles, up to 6 cubic metres of load volume and payloads of up to one tonne, the E Deliver 3 certainly makes the electric van proposition a lot more credible.
Read more on the Maxus E Deliver 3
Maxus E Deliver 9
The Maxus E Deliver 9 is the upcoming large electric van from SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation), brought to the UK by the Dublin-based importer Harris Group. Based on the existing platform, the Chinese-built van obliterates its European counterparts (like the eSprinter and eCrafter) for productivity, with an impressive 161-mile range and a 73kWh battery.
Read more on the Maxus E Deliver 9
The LDV EV80 offers the longest range of any large electric LCV at 127 miles and is available as both a panel van and chassis cab. LDV’s parent company, SAIC, is taking the lead on electric vehicles in China, and its 56kWh battery pack is one of the largest of any van, but it’s still moderately priced at £42,000 plus VAT after the PIVG.
Daimler has been experimenting with electric vans for decades, but it looks set to intensify next year with the rollout of the new eSprinter and eVito. The Mercedes-Benz eSprinter comes with the choice of a three- or four-battery pack option, corresponding to capacities of 41.4kWh and 55.2kWh respectively.
The Mercedes-Benz eVito uses the same 84kW electric motor as its larger sibling, however, is only available with three battery packs (the eSprinter has the option of an extra pack). The eVito is available in both long and extra-long wheelbase forms (load volumes of 6.0 and 6.6 cubic metres) and a payload of up to 1,073kg.
The Nissan eNV200 is the UK’s and Europe’s best-selling electric van, thanks to its low asking price (starting as low as £19,116 plus VAT) and excellent range (174 miles). The eNV200 was upgraded in 2018, to a new 40kWh battery and an 80kW (109hp) electric motor.
Peugeot Partner Electric
As with the Citroen Berlingo Electric, the electric version of the Peugeot Partner is based on the previous generation model, although Peugeot is reassuring customers that there is enough supply to meet demand until electric versions go into production in late 2019.
Renault Kangoo ZE
After the eNV200, the Renault Kangoo ZE is the second-best selling electric van in Europe. Like its Nissan-badged sibling, the Kangoo ZE was upgraded last year with a 33kWh battery; increasing the range to 170 miles. Renault list the Kangoo ZE for less than £14,119 plus VAT, if you choose to rent the battery from £50 per month.
Renault Master ZE
The Renault Master ZE officially hit the UK marketplace in November 2018 and is available in a choice of three wheelbases and two roof heights. The Master uses the same 33kWh battery pack as the Kangoo ZE, but due to its heavy chassis and more powerful 75hp motor, means the range is more restricted at 124 miles.
The Vauxhall Vivaro-E is the upcoming medium sector fully electric van from this PSA Group company and will be available to order from June this year making this the first factory built electric van for the company.
Read more on the Vauxhall Vivaro-E
The Volkswagen eCrafter was announced at the 2016 IAA Show, and it finally hit the market this year. While large electric vans tend to compromise on either performance, range or productivity, the eCrafter offers a powerful output (134hp/290Nm), a good payload (1,750kg) and a modest range (up to 107 miles).