Electric Vans: The Magnificent Seven

 Electric Vans: The Magnificent Seven

In our previous blog Electric Vans and the Motor Trade, we looked at the ever-growing interest in electric vehicles in the UK market. For those in the motor trade, you’ll start seeing a greater demand for electric and hybrid options creeping in, especially in the delivery, breakdown and courier services sectors. Below are our top seven UK electric van profiles. They are in no particular order and specs and dimensions vary but do give some indication of the options available for those considering investment into green technology. 

1.     The Ford Transit Custom PHEV is a UK best-seller. It is Ford’s first incursion into electrification for its van fleet. It includes a 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost turbo petrol engine that performs as a generator to charge the 14kWh battery and electric motor. You get a 30-mile range on electric power, with the engine recharging the battery when necessary.

Inside, the PHEV has the same volume as a standard transit at six cubic metres in standard wheelbase format.

Electric range: 30 miles

Cargo volume: 6.0 cubic metres

2.     The Mercedes eVito has an all-electric range of 93 miles with power coming from an 84kW electric motor. Its instant torque and quiet power mean it’s a far more enhanced van to drive than a diesel. There are two body lengths with front-wheel-drive, but the payload weights are lower to offset the extra 300kg added by the battery pack. The EVito also uses the Mercedes PRO fleet management software, which allows operators to plan and change routes according to battery life and traffic jams.

Electric range: 93 miles

Cargo volume: 6.0-6.6 cubic metres

3.     The Nissan eNV200 benefits from the car’s enhanced battery and electric motor technology to deliver improved range and performance. Nissan does have form in this as it pioneered the Leaf car. In the van there’s a 40kWh battery giving it a notional range of 187 miles, while the eNV200 features the largest cargo volume of any small electric van at 4.2 cubic metres.  The eNV200 comes as a two-seater and a seven-seater MPV hybrid. Drivers report excellent reliability and more than enough battery range for most trips.

Electric range: 187 miles

Cargo volume: 4.2 cubic metres

4.     The Citroen Berlingo Electric comes in a choice of L1 or L2 body lengths, creating an extra 0.4 cubic metres of cargo space. Total payload is 636kg for the L1 model and 552kg for the L2 respectively. PSA Peugeot Citroen has also produced an electric version of the new Partner and Berlingo Van which is still at production stage. Citroën Berlingo Electric accelerates nicely, reaching 68 mph average and with energy costs of just 2-3p per mile - less than £2 per 40 miles.

Range: 106 miles

Cargo volume: 3.3-3.7 cubic metres

5.     The Renault Kangoo ZE33 combines van technology of the compact van with the battery and motor from the Zoe with a range of 170 miles. There are standard and maxi van body lengths and a manoeuvrable bulkhead, so you can fold the seats away to create more cargo space. Renault also provides expected range mileages that vary between 125 miles in the summer to as little as 75 miles in the winter.

Electric range: 125 miles

Cargo volume: 1.3-4.0 cubic metres

6.     The Volkswagen e-Crafter combines conventional van technology with electric power bringing a substantial 134bhp power yield. The front-wheel-drive specification means the electrical system doesn’t infringe on the load area resulting in a massive one to 1.75 tonnes of cargo, and a 10.7 cubic-metre payload volume. Add in the electric motor's impressive 290Nm of torque, and the e-Crafter promises good performance, while the 40kWh battery offers a practical range of 107 miles.

Electric range: 107 miles

Cargo volume: 10.7 cubic metres 

7.     The Renault Master ZE also plumps for a large cargo hold over other technologies and with short, medium and long wheelbase versions in low and medium roof.  The real-life estimates of 75 miles in Summer and 50 miles in Winter also give an insight of how powerful these batteries are, reducing your need to be constantly charging the vehicle. ECO mode gives a gain of 10% consumption in urban and suburban driving conditions.

Electric range: 124 miles

Cargo volume: 8.0-13.0 cubic metres

So, whatever you’re driving, consider your options and what specs best suit your needs whether you are a courier, a van service technician or part of a fleet.

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