Electric Vans For Business23 February 2021
Are you considering going electric for your next business vehicle? With more choice than ever before there has never been a better time to take the plunge and move to an emission-free van. We have brilliant fully-electric models available from all the usual manufacturers like Renault, Nissan, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and many more. Electric vans can save money and make life easier too, but they won’t suit every job or every person, and as always there are a number of things you need to consider when choosing the ideal vehicle for your requirements.
Currently the main limiting factor for electric vehicles is of course range, which means the distance you can travel in between charging. Amongst the current crop of vehicles the quoted range can vary widely from over 150 miles down to just 75, for vans designed to cover last mile courier jobs. As charging between jobs may not always be possible, the range of a vehicle needs to exceed the number of miles you would likely cover on a daily basis. Another thing to bear in mind is that real life range can be reduced by carrying heavy loads, so if you regularly work with full van this will need to be taken into account.
There are a number of ways you can get the best out of an electric van when it comes to range, from driving at as constant a speed as possible to setting your heating to come on in the morning when the vehicle is still receiving a charge. If you do pick an electric van be sure to do some research to make sure you use the vehicle as efficiently as possible
If you want to move to a greener solution but have too large a daily mileage to consider going fully electric then there are plug in hybrid options out there too like the Ford Transit Custom PHEV. Plug in hybrid vehicles will have a small electric only range but will also run on conventional fuel too, so can be filled up in the normal way. This means you can receive many of the benefits of an electric van without the concerns of range anxiety.
With the price of a full battery charge coming in at as little as a couple of quid, there are clearly serious potential savings which can be made over diesel or petrol. In order to calculate the potential savings you need to consider where you will generally be charging the vehicle, and using the price of electricity at that point work out the cost of filling up, then compare it to what you’re currently laying out on conventional fuel. It’s more than likely that your mileage will be significantly cheaper when you’re running on battery power and just as with other types of fuel, you should be able to reclaim the tax paid on electricity used for business purposes.
Maintenance should also work out less for electric vans too, as there are less moving parts requiring servicing or replacing. This can deliver cost savings as well as the benefits of less time spent in the garage for your vehicle.
Another possible saving for some electric van-owners could come in the form of exemption from low-emission zone charges and toll payments. If these costs are likely to have an impact on you, either now or in the future, then remember to factor this in when calculating the overall price of moving to an electric vehicle.
The public charging network is growing all the time, but it’s unlikely that the current network will be sufficient for you to rely on to keep your van topped up each day. Investing in a wall box to charge your van efficiently overnight is the best solution for most electric vehicle owners, this will usually be both the easiest and most cost-efficient way to top up.
Rapid charging points are springing up right across the country, so if you wish to use them be sure to check that the vans you’re considering can be charged in this way, as some vehicles are limited to slower charging. If available they can prove a highly convenient option, being capable of charging up to 80% in around 30-40 minutes, depending on the vehicle. Remember though that using these public points will carry higher costs than charging at home or your place of work.
Finally, also remember that most vehicles will be able to take charge from a standard 3-point plug style connection, although filling up completely in this way can take up to 12 hours, so may not be suitable for everyone.
Just as any van with an internal combustion engine has a maximum payload, so too do their electric-powered counterparts. In most cases the max weight will be slightly lower for the electric vehicle, due to the extra mass of the battery, so whilst this is often not a hugely significant reduction, it’s something which you must bear in mind if you often drive at close to your maximum payload.
With some vans the volume available for cargo is very slightly reduced, again owing to the battery, but this is usually only by a very small amount so shouldn’t really have an impact. Remember though that when your van is full and weighed down with a heavy cargo this will reduce the vehicle’s range.
We have a wide range of vans available at extremely competitive prices, in some cases even less than the diesel equivalent. There are grants available of up to £8,000 off the price of an electric business vehicle, and this is factored in to the monthly cost you pay for you lease van. Take a look at the Renault Kangoo ZE Electric or Nissan e-NV200 for great budget-friendly options.
Switching to an electric van can have really a positive impact on both the environment and also public health too. As many van journeys are in highly populated areas in and around cities, the fumes from diesel and petrol vehicles can affect the large amount of people living in those areas, electric vehicles do not have any emissions at all so do not have this negative aspect.
The overall benefit of lower carbon emissions and the impact on the planet is also of course highly important too and, over the life on an electric vehicle, it will be responsible for adding much less CO2 to our atmosphere.
These genuine benefits which your business could deliver for all of us are something which you can be proud of, and no doubt something that you can shout about to your customers too!